Vitamin D Dose for Someone Dark Skinned and Overweight

by Anonymous

How much vitamin D should a dark skinned, overweight person with rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure take? I've been taking 1000 IU pretty regularly for almost a year, and I'm still deficient. Help!


Hi Anonymous,

Good question! The right vitamin D dose will vary individually. Some of these factors include:

  • where you live

  • how much proper sun exposure you get

  • your body weight

  • your skin color

  • your age

  • your overall health

I only know a few of those factors – you're dark-skinned, overweight, and have some health problems.

Even with that little bit of info, I can tell you that 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day simply will NOT get your vitamin D levels up to where they should be.

A healthy adult uses about 4,000 IU per day. So taking 1,000 IU is better than nothing, but you need much more to get your levels up to the optimal range.

I know taking higher amounts of vitamin D can be scary. We've been told that too much is toxic. But getting too little is the common scenario now and that is a much bigger health concern.

Just seek out vitamin D testing when you are taking the higher amounts - every six months is reasonable.

Before I forget, let me also mention that the type of vitamin D you take is very important. You want the natural vitamin D3, not the synthetic (and more expensive) vitamin D2.

Vitamin D2 is not real vitamin D and is different from what our bodies naturally produce. Whenever I see any studies about toxicity problems, it is always with D2. It is also less effective than an equal amount of vitamin D3 and may actually block some of vitamin D's health benefits. So steer clear.

But back to dosing. Healthy adults with optimal levels of this vitamin should be taking 5,000 IU per day as a maintenance dose (if they are not getting proper sun exposure).

Since you are overweight and have some health issues, double that (10,000 IU per day) would not be unreasonable.

Most vitamin D experts agree that 10,000 IU per day is very safe and should be the new Tolerable Upper Intake Level. The U.S. government used to have it set at 2,000 IU per day, but changed it to 4,000 IU. They are SLOWLY catching up with what the research is telling us.

So try 10,000 IU per day for a while. How long you'll need to be there (or if you need to go higher) depends on just how low your levels are. I can't say much more without knowing more about you or where you tested at.

Also be aware that vitamin D depends on other nutrients in order to work its magic. If you are deficient in one or more of these cofactors, you will not be able to adequately raise your levels.

Check out my pages on vitamin D absorption and magnesium and vitamin D for more information.

If you have any other questions about vitamin D dosage, or if something I said wasn't clear, please use the comment link below.

Wishing you the best of health,

Approach Wellness

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