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« Advertising Medicines | Main | When Being Positive Can Be Negative »

December 20, 2006


Edward Hutchinson

The information given above about the possible dangers of toxicity with using Vitamin d3 cholecalciferol as a supplement appear somewhat outdated. Perhaps other readers would care to read these links for a more up todate understanding of the latest research findings.

The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin ...

Richard Petty

Thank you very much for commenting.

I was well aware of Reinhold Vieth's work and also another paper ( ) on the topic that came out last year.

It is possible that Vieth is correct: many of the RDAs have been set too low.

But it is important for readers to know that his is still a minority position. When it comes to safety I err on the side of caution. It is different when I am advising someone personally. Then I can get into all the pros and cons of different dosing strategies, and we have often used higher doses when the situation called for it.

I have recently also seen a popular book that claimed that vitamin D toxicity is a myth. The "reasoning" went like this: if you spend all day outside you would synthesize limitless amounts of vitamin D and nobody has ever seen vitamin D toxicity in Tibetan mountan dwellers! The author clearly did not know that the production of endogenous cholecalciferol in the skin is a saturable system.

One of the people who taught me had been involved in dealing with the fallout from the epidemic of idiopathic hypercalcemia amongst English infants in the mid 1950s. Although the kids were tiny, they got very sick on just 2,000-3,000 IU/day.

Kind regards,


Jeffrey Dach, MD

Its astonishing, but here in the Florida sun, we are finding many patients with Vitamin D insufficiency(less than 40 ng/ml 25 OH Vit D) and deficiciency (less than 20 ng/ml) because of sun avoidance for fear of skin cancer or sun damage.

We routinely supplement with 5,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily in those adult cases.

We also monitor 25-OH Vitamin D levels, and calcium levels serially, and no adverse side effects reported as yet tending to confirm the work of Vieth, Hollick, Grant and Cannell who recommend 4,000 to 5,000 units per day as safe in adults.

For more informtion, see my newsletter:

regards from,
Jeffrey Dach MD

Richard Petty

Dear Dr Dach,

Thank you very much for that very interesting comment.

I have also enjoyed your website.

Kind regards,


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