HOW MUCH VITAMIN D DO I NEED?
Many people in the United States don't get the vitamin D they need, especially those with IBD. Low vitamin D levels are often caused by not enough sun exposure, and not enough fish or dairy in their diets. Those at particular risk:
- Have dark skin
- Live in climates like the northern US states
- Spend more time inside
- Have severe disease
- Have dairy restricted diets
Amount of Vitamin D Healthy People Need
Age Male Female Pregnancy Breastfeeding
0–12 months* 400 IU 400 IU
1–13 years 600 IU 600 IU
14–18 years 600 IU 600 IU 600 IU 600 IU
19–50 years 600 IU 600 IU 600 IU 600 IU
51–70 years 600 IU 600 IU
70 years + 800 IU 800 IU
IU = international units
For those with IBD, we suggest increasing the daily amount of vitamin D to about 800 IU if you do not spend much time out in the sun. During the winter, that amount could go up to 2500 IU, especially those who have more active IBD. That amount might need to be reduced in those who get kidney stones from increased calcium.
The best way to determine how much you need is to have your Vitamin D levels measured. Then, your doctor can determine how to keep your levels healthy by taking into account your daily sun exposure and diet.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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