The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Searching for the correct dose of vitamin D

    In adults, vitamin D deficiency is associated with osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. And adequate doses might reduce the risk of certain cancers and type 1 diabetes.

    The current recommendation of 5 mcg (200 IU) may be too little, according to researchers in Maine and South Carolina.

    First, the details.

    • 112 adult women were given a placebo from March to September 2005.
    • They were then randomly assigned to take placebo or a daily vitamin D3 supplement (20 mcg) until February 2006.

    And, the results.

    • 86 women completed the study.
    • The actual D3 content of the supplements was 22 µg per capsule.
    • In February 2005 the 25(OH)D blood level was 62 nmol/L.
    • This level increased by 35 nmol/L during 25(OH)D supplementation.
      • This  was significantly more than the 11 nmol/L increase with placebo.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Daily supplementation with 20 µg D3 during winter [4 times the current recommended dose for adult women] achieved optimal 25(OH)D concentrations (at least 75 nmol/L) in 80% of participants, indicating that this dose is adequate to optimize vitamin D status in most young women in Maine.”

    The current recommendations by the American Academy of Dermatology for the best sources of vitamin D include “a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods/beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or vitamin D supplements.” Sunlight is not a recommended source.

    At the end of 2008, the US and Canadian governments announced that the Institute of Medicine would a review vitamin D and calcium research, and this might lead to higher recommended daily intakes.

    A historical review of vitamin D can be found here.

    3/20/09 11:12 JR

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