How Much Vitamin D Should We Take?

Hélène Baribeau

Hélène Baribeau


His beliefs: To change your eating habits, you need to get in touch with yourself again. Listen to your hunger and satiety signals, change our thoughts on self-sabotage, have fun and discover the taste of your food and movement.

Like vitamins C and E, which have been the subject of controversy since the 1980s, it is now the turn of vitamin D to be considered. The intense interest in a particular vitamin often occurs when we discover that, in addition to its primary role, it is involved in cancer prevention.

It has long been believed that the only role of vitamin D is focused on calcium absorption. We now find that low levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with a higher risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer (three of the four most common cancers in Canada). You will easily understand that this association quickly aroused the interest of researchers in this field of health.

In terms of vitamin D needs, the recommendations come from all sides: you don’t need to take vitamin D in the summer, you get 1,000 IU per day, you get 2,000 IU a day, you get 400 IU a day after 50 years, Normal food is enough, you have the level of vitamin D in your blood, etc. Recent studies show that in some cases 3,800 IU, or even 5,000 IU per day, would be necessary. But what is it really? Do we need such a bad vitamin D supplement? And if so, how much should I get?

The establishment of Health Canada

Health Canada recommends 200 to 600 IU of vitamin D daily, depending on age. This organization recommends a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D a day, for both men and women over 50 years of age.

However, the Institute of Medicine – an independent, non-profit scientific organization -, at the request of Health Canada and several federal agencies in the United States, is currently examining Nutritional Recruitment (DRIs) for vitamin D to be released. in the spring of 2010.

The establishment of the American Academy of Pediatrics

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics increased its daily standard from 200 IU to 400 IU for children and adolescents.

The establishment of the Canadian Cancer Society
In 2007, the Canadian Cancer Society recommended taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D supplement a day for adults during the fall and winter.

The contribution from the sun

It seems that the exposure of the hands, forearms and face for 10 to 15 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., without sunscreen, 2 or 3 times a week (for people with light skin) would be enough to fill up on vitamin D intake from April to October. However, there are important studies showing the harmful effects of UV rays. They can specifically cause skin cancer, melanoma and cataracts. Therefore, it is not recommended to apply unprotected sun exposure to take vitamin D.

Food intake

There are few sources of vitamin D. Soy milk and soy drink contain 100 IU per cup, 2 eggs give 120 IU and 100 g of beef liver provide 40 IU. The best sources are fish. For example, 100 grams of salmon provide from 600 IU to 1000 IU, depending on the cooking method. Another food rich in vitamin D has been discovered in recent years. It is the shiitake mushroom, the consumption of 10 of which provides 600 IU. If you don’t eat fish or mushrooms every day, it’s probably hard to reach the minimum of 400 IU, especially for adults 50 years and older.

Vitamin D toxicity

According to Health Canada, the maximum tolerated vitamin D intake per day is 2,000 IU. Keep in mind that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and can accumulate in fat and liver. However, the results of recent studies seem to challenge this daily limit of 2,000 IU.

What is the best way to get vitamin D?

Called cholecalciferol or vitamin D3, this vitamin is available in tablet or liquid form.

Accurate vitamin D dosage

In recent years, doctors have been able to prescribe a dose of vitamin D in the blood for their patients. This practice, increasingly common, allows us to test whether our regular contributions (added to production through ultraviolet radiation) are sufficient.

What do I think?

According to my clients’ dietary records in a private consultation, the majority do not even reach the 200 IU recommended by Health Canada before the age of 50, except for people who regularly drink two cups of milk a day. Most of us are probably deficient in vitamin D. Knowing that cancer is the most dangerous disease these days, I would follow the advice of the Canadian Cancer Society, which recommends 1,000 IU per day as a supplement, which however is much higher than the level of Health Canada ranging between 200 IU and 600 IU per day. However, I would go further and make it a recipe all year round and not just in the fall and winter, as it is difficult to predict how much time we will spend outside, without sunscreen, in spring and summer. But it would be best to have your vitamin D level in your blood before you decide to take supplements.

And do you think it is necessary to take vitamin D supplements?

To learn more about vitamin D:


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16-02-2020 11:19:28

At 36 I took a vitamin D supplement all winter 5000UI per day. In early spring I took a dose of vitamin D. I was a little above average .. I live in the Paris area, a little sun.

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2018-06-05 11:28:00

enobenoit lortie increase IQ

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2017-08-30 12:58:06

after colon cancer in May 2016 and was cured in June 2017 – 1 month later + chem. + 2 surgeries + 6 more months of chemotherapy. one month after the end of chemotherapy. , pain in all my joints … blood test and lack of vitamin D / I went to document on the Internet and vitamin D in cod liver oil …! Yes! 🙁 now sold in a capsule … phew! 🙂 and it doesn’t cost much – I bought 1 60 tablet dish at 4.49E (lunch 2 / day for 1 month), but I have a garden and often in the sun, I drink milk and I eat yogurt and fish, but when we grow up, I continue to be 61 years old and cancer treatment gives diarrhea, we no longer keep this vitamin! I haven’t finished the bottle, but it’s already much better! so I will do this treatment 2 times / year …! be completely rusty! so do not take any medication. extremely expensive …! yes life is good 😉

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sum lamouchi

2016-10-30 21:13:29

Hello, there are doctors who prescribe vit d3 to 200,000 iu for 4 months vial / week and then one vial per month for 4 months

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2016-10-12 13:47:52

I forgot to clarify that I drink a lot of milk (too much!) I drink a liter a day at least without counting 2 more white cheeses a day.

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2016-10-12 13:39:56

Hello, I had my first cancer at the age of 13, today, at the age of 42, I had three. I can’t go to the sun at all, not even in my hands, because I had a lot of sunburn on a cloudy day. How about people like us one day who had skin cancer? All articles say the same thing, but there are people like me who have to get away from the sun completely, and there are no articles that talk about people like us. Doctors give me a blister uddose from time to time, but I’m still inadequate, I’d like to know the dose of uvesterole I should take at 42, then take a dose of 2 without risking an overdose? The doctors give me the daily dose of uvsterole and I remain inadequate. I’m tired of being tired, inadequate, losing my hair, I have the impression that doctors are incompetent, none of them knew how to recognize my cancers, some even told me “what’s certain, it’s not cancer” and I still have a vitamin D deficiency because, in my opinion, they don’t give me enough. I find them insufficiently trained by all these doctors, unable to increase a vitamin D level, a blister cell every 3 months, this will not increase me in vitamin D .

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2016-08-13 17:58:53

Slow response to Carmen (above).
Your case is a living example of the invalidity of the widespread advice that it would be enough to expose your forearms and face to the sun to activate the production of vitamin D by the body.
The only real way is full nudity (and in this case, a short exhibition is filled for several days).
Physicists have no problem with vitamin D deficiency, and cancers are very rare, including skin cancer.

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Stephanie GB

2015-12-03 14:21:09

Thank you for this very comprehensive article. I started taking 400 pills a day for 2 weeks and noticed a slight improvement in my energy, but in the summer I didn’t take it. This article has finally answered all my questions, Thank you.

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benoit lortie

2009-11-16 08:45:00

Hi I have a quick question,
I don’t eat any fish, very few vegetables and fruits.
Is there a wonderful vitamin that could work to fill this protein gap?
Good morning

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2009-11-12 02:17:00

I like your article on vitamin D. In fact, several years ago, after consulting my GP because he was suffering from digestive problems, the latter made me do an ultrasound that showed a steatosis. Without a problem with alcohol consumption, Dr., after questioning, concluded that vitamin D, which is in the band “Magnesium OK” prescribed by my gynecologist, “literally attacked” my liver and asked me to stop it. I get. of this band and it invites me to be very careful about it in the future. Now, ten years later, it turns out, after a blood test, that I have a vitamin D deficiency.
What ????

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09-15-2009 12:55:00

I am worried about the toxicity of vitamin D.

I have read that there may be accumulation in our fat as it is fat soluble in the liver.
I would also like to know the effects and signs and symptoms of this toxicity ιού clock when taken @ high dose.
Thanks for answering me.

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09-09-2009 05:27:00

Hello. I have been reading your articles and other blogs for two years with interest. I draw your attention to your article on vitamin D. A rheumatologist has prescribed it for me. I had pain in my instep for months and couldn’t walk without suffering. The radios did not detect anything. The scintigraphy confirmed the diagnosis made by rheumatism: fatigue cracks, possibly cuneiform, in both legs. I have a 4 week sick leave and, after a blood test, vitamin D. I continue 3 Ixprim / day. I’m not a smear. Is it psychological? For the 4 days since I took the dose of vitamin D, my legs were more mobile (well, for 2 days.) And less painful.
I have to take a dose of vitamin D for months. And I plan to continue, a dose every winter … although the weather in La Rochelle (France) is often sunny.
Good luck to everyone!

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2009-08-14 05:42:00

Hello Mrs. Baribeau,

there seems to be a new craze to give vitamin D to newborns … what do you think about it? do you think this is really justified?

Thanks for the clarification!


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Yves Comeau

2009-07-22 09:59:00

Hello Hélène,
Have a good tour of the subject. I believe that we will indeed discover many properties in this virtuous vitamin …

I do regular doses of Vit D as a doctor and most of the time I notice a deficiency that I have to supplement in addition to milk …

Good luck,

Yours sincerely,

Yves Comeau

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Céline dtp

2009-07-21 10:34:00

The synthesis of vitamin D from the skin is much less effective with age. This is one of the reasons why recommended recruitment is twice as high for people aged 50 to 71 and 3 times higher for people aged 71 and over. In addition, baby boomers, especially women, consume very few dairy products … only a minority consume enough vitamin D. So, if you’re over 50 … don’t rely on the sun for your meals. vitamin D intake !!!

The Canadian Food Guide is a 400 IU vitamin D supplement for all over 50 years of age. It’s minimal in my opinion (normal dose), while I’m waiting for the new recommendations (to see if you know your blood level or not).

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2009-07-21 09:59:00

I went to see my doctor recently and he told me that the dose of vitamin D is 12000u. per week and there is one tablet taken once a week and it works all week. I take 1000un a day, in winter and in summer.

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Aldée Lemay

2009-07-21 07:07:00

As for government standards, we have forgotten that, they know absolutely nothing about health, for them it is the chemical. Applicant work in Ottawa is beyond the scope of the first prestige.

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2009-07-20 09:49:00

Hello Hélène,

As for me, I don’t consume dairy products (optional) and no fish (unfortunately I don’t like it very much). I take liver oil capsules (2). I have a bottle of synthetic vitamin D, but I only use it as a last resort.

For my peace, I can eat 2-4 egg yolks a week (boiled) without more. I expose the sun when my skin is radiant (7-aphrodisiac) to allow the skin to synthesize.

It is true that you have to lose your head with all the recommendations on the left and right in the suggested recruitments. What makes me curious about all this is that we say that calcium absorption is impossible without vitamin D, but can’t we explain the “why” of this chemistry? (parathormone, etc …)

Thank you for the wonderful column on vitamin D, I note it and have a good week to the readers of the blog.


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2009-07-20 08:25:00

I already take 1000ui of vitamin D a day from October to May, the other 4 months I take 1 tablet every two days, sometimes a little less because I still get a little sun in the summer. I drink milk occasionally, I like salmon and I eat it as often as possible at least once a week as well as other fish.

I am only 37 years old and I have been doing this for at least 3 years. The only thing I noticed is that I don’t catch a cold often compared to other people around me. Just once this May and it didn’t last long, but it may also be due to the fact that I eat a good diet in general and exercise regularly.

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2009-07-20 08:23:00

Here you go! Another new “trend”. Following the results of my health check (blood tests), my doctor recently prescribed a vitamin D supplement. The problem is that I am out for several hours every day, both in winter (I am a skier) that summer, and in spring, and that I rarely put on protective creams … except in the summer, when I know I’m going to be exposed to the hot sun for many hours and not get burned. First of all, I absorb the dose of vitamin D, which must be assimilated, after I take a calcium supplement and live. C. If someone gets a natural “D”, it’s me. And I think I eat very well … Look for the mistake!

How Much Vitamin D Should We Take?
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