Vitamin D3 2,500 IU, the New Dose in Town
Earlier this year, Health Canada increased the maximum amount of vitamin D in supplements sold over the counter from 1,000 IU to 2,500 IU per dose for adults over the age of 19. This change was driven by an increasing amount of evidence to support the safety of higher vitamin D limits.
What is Vitamin D and Why is it So Important?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for supporting bone health, immunity and mood. We naturally produce vitamin D through our skin with sun exposure, however northern climates and countless hours spent indoors do not allow for adequate amounts. It’s tricky to get vitamin D through food and coupled with low levels of sun exposure, supplementation is common practice in Canada.
Why Has Health Canada Approved This Higher Dose?
Since 2020, over 65 published studies have investigated vitamin D’s potential benefits in supporting our immune system throughout the cold and flu season. Overall, research showed that individuals with adequate serum vitamin D levels were less likely to experience severe cold and flu symptoms. Some studies showed that supplementing with vitamin D even after getting sick helped to reduced symptoms by up to 90%!
Who Needs This Higher Dose?
It’s important to note that most individuals will maintain adequate serum vitamin D levels by supplementing with 600-800 IU per day. In Canada, our long winters, short summers and limited sun exposure may lead us to need more, and other factors may play a role as well.
- As we age, our skin does not produce vitamin D as efficiently. By the age of 65, you produce ¼ the amount as you did in your twenties.
- People with darker skin tones produce, on average, half the amount of vitamin D as people with lighter skin tones.
- Vitamin D is fat soluble, and a higher BMI may result in lower circulating vitamin D since the vitamin will remain stored in excess adipose tissue.
- It’s tricky to get enough vitamin D through our food. Some foods are fortified, but depending on your dietary choices and the amount you eat, you may not be getting enough.
- Individuals with IBS, liver disease and cystic fibrosis may have trouble absorbing vitamin D, thus requiring further supplementation.
- People with hypercalcemia and/ or hypercalciuria.
- People with kidney disorders, as an excess of vitamin D may lead to kidney stones or further kidney damage.
- People who take medications, including antacids, anticonvulsants, digoxin, cholestyramine, colestipol, mineral oil, steroids, statins, and thiazide diuretics.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin D has long been recommended to support bone and immune health. The ongoing research demonstrating that adequate vitamin D stores may better support one’s ability to stay healthy throughout our long-lasting cold and flu seasons is promising! While this new dose may be appropriate for some though, it does not mean it is meant for everyone. Always speak with your health care practitioner prior to beginning a new supplement regime.
Health First® has two new products that offer this new, 2,500 IU dose. Our Vitamin D3 Extra Strength gelcaps each contain 2,500 IU of vitamin D3 in a base of organic olive oil. Our Vitamin D3 Extra Strength liquid provides 2,500 IU per drop in non-GMO sunflower and MCT oils plus rosemary extract to ensure shelf stability. Like all other Health First® products, they are free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, and GMOs.