Dr Holick, endocrinologist and mineral metabolism specialist from Boston University, gave us a rousing Grand Rounds about vitamin D deficiency. The recommendations for vitamin D supplementation, which Dr. Holick notes afflicts almost everyone, are below:
However, these dosing recommendations change for patients with obesity, as increased body weight can increase the need for vitamin D up to 2-3 fold. Dr. Holick’s research is prolific, so take a look at a recent article about the need for increased vitamin D dosing in obese patients.
The Importance of Body Weight for the Dose Response Relationship of Oral Vitamin D Supplementation and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Healthy Volunteers
Unlike vitamin D recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the Clinical Practice Guidelines by the Endocrine Society acknowledge body weight differentials and recommend obese subjects be given two to three times more vitamin D to satisfy their body’s vitamin D requirement. However, the Endocrine Society also acknowledges that there are no good studies that clearly justify this. In this study we examined the combined effect of vitamin D supplementation and body weight on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin (25(OH)D) and serum calcium in healthy volunteers. We analyzed 22,214 recordings of vitamin D supplement use and serum 25(OH)D from 17,614 healthy adult volunteers participating in a preventive health program. This program encourages the use of vitamin D supplementation and monitors its use and serum 25(OH)D and serum calcium levels. Participants reported vitamin D supplementation ranging from 0 to 55,000 IU per day and had serum 25(OH)D levels ranging from 10.1 to 394 nmol/L. The dose response relationship between vitamin D supplementation and serum 25(OH)D followed an exponential curve. On average, serum 25(OH)D increased by 12.0 nmol/L per 1,000 IU in the supplementation interval of 0 to 1,000 IU per day and by 1.1 nmol/L per 1,000 IU in the supplementation interval of 15,000 to 20,000 IU per day. BMI, relative to absolute body weight, was found to be the better determinant of 25(OH)D. Relative to normal weight subjects, obese and overweight participants had serum 25(OH)D that were on average 19.8 nmol/L and 8.0 nmol/L lower, respectively (P<0.001). We did not observe any increase in the risk for hypercalcemia with increasing vitamin D supplementation. We recommend vitamin D supplementation be 2 to 3 times higher for obese subjects and 1.5 times higher for overweight subjects relative to normal weight subjects. This observational study provides body weight specific recommendations to achieve 25(OH)D targets.
Citation: Ekwaru JP, Zwicker JD, Holick MF, Giovannucci E, Veugelers PJ (2014) The Importance of Body Weight for the Dose Response Relationship of Oral Vitamin D Supplementation and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Healthy Volunteers. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111265. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111265