Sunlight, Vitamin D and Skin Cancer

Volume 624 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 55-71

Optimal Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels for Multiple Health Outcomes

  • Heike A. Bischoff-FerrariAffiliated withDeptartment of Rheumatology and Institute of Physical Medicine, University Hospital Zurich

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Recent evidence suggests that higher vitamin D intakes beyond current recommendations may be associated with better health outcomes. In this chapter, evidence is summarized from different studies that evaluate threshold levels for serum 25(OH)D levels in relation to bone mineral density (BMD), lower extremity function, dental health, risk of falls, admission to nursing home, fractures, cancer prevention and incident hypertension. For all endpoints, the most advantageous serum levels for 25(OH)D appeared to be at least 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml) and for cancer prevention, desirable 25(OH)D levels are between 90–120 nmol/l (36–48 ng/ml). An intake of no less than 1000IU (25 meg) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day for all adults may bring at least 50% of the population up to 75 nmol/l. Thus, higher doses of vitamin D are needed to bring most individuals into the desired range. While estimates suggest that 2000 IU vitamin D3 per day may successfully and safely achieve this goal, the implications of 2000 IU or higher doses for the total adult population need to be addressed in future studies.