Ok. Ok. I know you get it. Vitamin D is important and almost everyone is deficient. But I’m STILL not seeing this in the patients we’re seeing in the office. A recent new patient has been diagnosed with osteopenia (“pre” osteoporosis), had low levels of D on bloodwork, has a strong family history of osteoporosis and her doctor told her she should be on 2,000 IU / day. That’s what we START patients on if they don’t have all these issues. The cost and safety of bumping a patient with these factors up to 4,000 IU / day is minimal.
Another potential new patient stopped in to ask some questions. She’s had MS for over a decade. Her recommendations from her neurologist and PCP are to take 2,000 / day, again in the presence of low levels in her bloodstream. And there were no recommendations for her 2 teenage boys to start on vitamin D as well (vitamin D seems to play a large role in the onset, but not treatment, of Vitamin D).
This particular study again points out just how darn deficient we are as a society. In patients who experienced a heart attack, 96% (yes…just 4% short of 100%) had insufficient levels of vitamin D. And keep in mind that this was <30 ng/ml, while experts recommend >60 ng/ml as optimal.
Many physicians would argue that the links between heart disease and low vitamin D are not definitively proven yet. But those same physicians will give out statins in a candy dish up by the checkout counter with even less data supporting their effectiveness. Given the safety and low cost of vitamin D supplementation, it should be malpractice to not at least have the discussion with our patients.