Morning Report: Vitamin D: When Is Enough Enough?

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


March 17, 2017

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Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist and a medical editor for Medscape and WebMD. Welcome to our "1-minute" news story for primary care.

Vitamin D: Should We Screen? Should We Treat?

At this year's American Academy of Dermatology meeting, Dr Barbara Gilchrest talked about a preoccupation with vitamin D status. This has led to expensive and often unnecessary vitamin D testing.

A serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D of 20 ng/mL is usually considered the lowest acceptable level. But at 20 ng/mL, 97.5% of people have adequate vitamin D. And for at least half of the population, a level of 16 ng/mL is adequate.

Guidelines discourage routine testing of healthy adults without risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Instead, clinicians should encourage patients to choose foods containing or fortified with vitamin D. For adults who can't get enough vitamin D from their diet, supplementation with 600-800 IU daily should be adequate.

For Medscape and WebMD, I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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