Vitamin D is essential to keep our bones from developing osteoporosis but how much do we need? Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicineshow that we need more than 800 IU per day to lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. A study published in the NEJM in June of 2012 showed that there were 30% fewer hip fractures and 14% of all fractures in people in the highest quartile of vitamin D level than the lowest.
While the Institute of Medicine and the US Preventive Services Task Force do not recommend vitamin D for prevention of osteoporosis commonsense tells us that far more fractures occur in people with low vitamin D levels and that toxicity with up to 4000 IU has not been documented it makes sense to supplement with at least 800 IU per day. When it is safe and the cost of treatment is pennies a day and the cost of fixing a hip fracture is about $37000 it doesn't take much brain power to figure that we should be measuring vitamin D3 levels and treating when they are low!