Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Vitamin D Controversy | Apparently God Doesn't Know What He's Doing

This week a Report was released by a Committee of the Institute of Medicine which states that a 3 year old child needs the same amount of Vitamin D as a 50 year old adult. Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me. We dose our medicine by body weight, we should be dosing our nutrition by body weight also. This report states that any dose of Vitamin D over 600 I.U.'s per day is unnecessary and could be dangerous.

Now, think about that for a minute with this piece of information in mind:

Caucasian skin produces approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D in response to 20-30 minutes of summer sun exposure-50 times more than the US government's recommendation of 200 IU per day! This high rate of natural production of vitamin D3 cholecalciferol (pronounced koh·luh·kal·sif·uh·rawl) in the skin is the single most important fact every person should know about vitamin D-a fact that has profound implications for the natural human condition. Does anyone believe God made a mistake and we're not supposed to be in the summer sun for 30 minutes? What do we all know to do if a newborn baby has yellowish skin (suggestive of jaundice)? Put them in the sunshine for 10-20 minutes every day! According to this new Report, the amount of Vitamin D from 10-20 minutes of sunshine per day to newborn infants would be dangerous. Does that make sense to you?

This type of Report is a grave injustice to the tens of thousands of people who are suffering, and now will be overly apprehensive about using Vitamin D at therapeutic doses when they truly need it.

To my Colleagues and Health Care Practitioners who are reading this message, may I request spending a little time in the next few weeks to get a 'Big Picture', a Functional Medicine overview of the benefits of therapeutic doses of Vitamin D to those who need it? You can begin at and read the publications that address the physiology, the pharmacology, the toxicity studies, the areas of Research (with hundreds and hundreds of references, (i.e. 141 studies on the role of Vitamin D in the prevention and arresting of cancer).

And to my friends and General Public reading this message, may I request you go to and begin reading the Newsletters written by Scientists and Researchers from many major Universities (Harvard, Stanford, Boston Medical,...) speaking directly to the General Public? These authors talk about the many benefits to therapeutic doses of Vitamin D for those who are insufficient or deficient.

And how do we know if we're getting enough? A simple blood test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D should be between 50-80ng/mL (the Vitamin D blood levels obtained by humans who live and work in the sun and the mid-point of the current Reference Ranges at all American laboratories).

How To Get Enough Vitamin D
There are 3 ways for adults to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D:

- Regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible for 20-30 minutes (being careful to never burn). (Those with dark skin will need longer exposure time - up to six times longer.)

- Regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.

- Take 5,000 IU per day for 2-3 months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L) year-round.

- For extra caution in supplementing with Vitamin D, one can read about the form of Vitamin D called Mycellized Vitamin D, that increases blood values 5 times better than any other form (so you can use less).

- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a German philosopher known for his philosophical clarity (a 30,000 foot overview of how people think and act). He made one of the most valuable observations on the shifting of human views when he stated that all truth goes through 3 stages:

First, it is ridiculed
Second, it is violently opposed
Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.

It makes no sense that a 50 year old adult needs the same amount of Vitamin D as a 3 year old child. Let's just look at the overwhelming evidence and recognize that IF someone is insufficient or deficient in Vitamin D, bringing the levels up to a normal range (similar to being in the sun 20-30 minutes per day) can tremendously help restore health and vitality.

Dr. Tom O'Bryan


  1. Great post! I am a Family Physician and I'll have to admit that supplementing all of my 50-plus year-old has cut into my skin-cancer treatment income...

    Ken D Berry MD

  2. Dr. Berry:
    You are truly doing the right thing. In the end, your patients will trust you more and refer more people to you. Keep thinking outside that box!