Osteoporosis International

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 713–716

Estimates of optimal vitamin D status

  • Bess Dawson-Hughes
  • Robert P. Heaney
  • Michael F. Holick
  • Paul Lips
  • Pierre J. Meunier
  • Reinhold Vieth

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-005-1867-7

Cite this article as:
Dawson-Hughes, B., Heaney, R.P., Holick, M.F. et al. Osteoporos Int (2005) 16: 713. doi:10.1007/s00198-005-1867-7


Vitamin D has captured attention as an important determinant of bone health, but there is no common definition of optimal vitamin D status. Herein, we address the question: What is the optimal circulating level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] for the skeleton? The opinions of the authors on the minimum level of serum 25(OH)D that is optimal for fracture prevention varied between 50 and 80 nmol/l. However, for five of the six authors, the minimum desirable 25(OH)D concentration clusters between 70 and 80 nmol/l. The authors recognize that the average older man and woman will need intakes of at least 20 to 25 mcg (800 to 1,000 IU) per day of vitamin D3 to reach a serum 25(OH)D level of 75 nmol/l. Based on the available evidence, we believe that if older men and women maintain serum levels of 25(OH)D that are higher than the consensus median threshold of 75 nmol/l, they will be at lower risk of fracture.


Older men and womenSerum level of 25(OH)DVitamin D status

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bess Dawson-Hughes
    • 1
  • Robert P. Heaney
    • 2
  • Michael F. Holick
    • 3
  • Paul Lips
    • 4
  • Pierre J. Meunier
    • 5
  • Reinhold Vieth
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Bone Metabolism LaboratoryJean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Creighton UniversityOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Department of EndocrinologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of EndocrinologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Faculty R LaennecLyonFrance
  6. 6.Department of Nutritional Sciences, Medicine and Pathobiology LaboratoryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.The Bone and Mineral and LaboratoryMt. Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada