Published on January 14, 2016

January 14, 2016

A paper was recently published that launched an attack on vitamin D. The paper, by lead researcher Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, Dr PH, studied whether vitamin D would prevent functional decline in 200 home-dwelling men and women in Switzerland. The researchers found that the groups assigned to the two higher monthly doses actually increased their likelihood of falls compared to the control group.

Dr. Bischoff-Ferrari presented some of the findings in this paper at the Vitamin D Workshop last April. Many of us in the vitamin D community knew these findings would be coming and really understood them. The conclusions that high monthly doses of vitamin D, or vitamin D plus calcifediol, may not be beneficial for seniors are reasonable given what we now know about bolus dosing (infrequent, large doses). In fact, high monthly doses are likely not beneficial for most people, regardless of age. Since this study was conducted, we have new information to suggest that monthly dosing does not work for non-skeletal effects of vitamin D. According to Dr. Reinhold Vieth, such doses result in a “false season” effect in the person, giving them big highs, and big lows — that are not healthy. We do not find anything from this paper to make us change our recommendation that achieving a serum level of 40-60 ng/ml, through daily inputs of sun, supplements, and/or diet, is beneficial to overall health.

Despite our understanding of the research, the firestorm in the press was tremendous. The headlines that vitamin D is detrimental to health took over, and the measured statements, including a need for a better understanding of the potential detrimental effects of monthly dosing and the need to confirm the results with daily dosing, were ignored.

This week we are providing you with the information you need to better understand the research out there, and how to see beyond the headlines found in the mainstream press. Please help spread the truth – that vitamin D is safe, and should be received daily.

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