Are You Inappropriately Taking Vitamin D?




Studies have suggested Vitamin D status modifies risk of cardiovascular events.


A review looking at Vitamin D status in the context of risk of CVD events  was published in this month’s edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Investigators certainly found a reduced risk of cardiovascular events with increasing vitamin D status. But only to a certain point. After this point, risk increased. The sweet spot seemed to be between 25-30ng/dl.


This is concerning for those of you supplementing with high vitamin D3. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like…


“We need to mimic Vitamin D levels of those closest to the equator.”

“50-70ng/dl is the ticket.”


What’s funny is that many populations nearest to the equator actually do not have these “ideal” levels. And that’s perfectly okay for them because of genetic factors!



And so what should you do?


You need to be aware that D3 supplementation has the potential to be harmful. Not only because of the potential for increased cardiovascular risk, but also because deeper health issues can be missed by supplementing with vitamin D.


What I mean by this is that when you supplement, your Vitamin D level will likely increase, your doc is happy, and that’s the end of the story.


But the reason it was low in the first place is not addressed. The actual plot was never realized. Instead, doc just hit the fast forward button because he or she knew all of the events between the beginning and end!


You need to recognize that low vitamin D is not only the result of lack of dietary source and sunlight. Other factors that make levels of vitamin D look low are



Autoimmune Disease

Chronic Infection

Liver damage


Micronutrient Deficiency

Metabolic Syndrome


Certainly, if D3 is low because of low sun exposure or dietary lack, then a supplement should be considered. Ideally, you would get work on getting regular sun exposure around the middle of the day. 


But if these other questions are not being asked, you are not getting the best care.


Further Reading


Zhang, Runhua, et al. “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the risk of cardiovascular disease: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017): ajcn14039




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