Table 7

Benefits of vitamin D for various diseases, dosages, and comments

Rickets111Requires repletion therapy when diagnosed; usually prevented with VTD levels >25 nmol/LComplete resolution of symptoms and signs (except in cases of vitamin D resistance132)Adequate intake of calcium also needed
Osteomalacia112800 IU required; patients might need up to 2200 IU for up to a yearResolution of symptoms, including bone pain, especially in pelvis, lumbar spine, and ribs
PsoriasisTopical VTD creamsPlaque thickness and redness markedly improved by UVB and VTD analoguesFirst-line therapy worldwide73
Multiple sclerosis44400 IU/d40% risk reduction
Rheumatoid arthritis45400 IU/d40% risk reduction
Type 1 diabetes382000 IU/d80% risk reduction
Type 2 diabetes4VTD level raised from 25 to 75 nmol/L63% improvement in insulin sensitivity
Gestational diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy98Individualized dosing to restore levels to >80 nmol/LMarked improvement in insulin sensitivity and insulin production
Birth weight133For each IU/d of VTD intake, birth weight increasedBirth weight increased by 11 g/IU of VTD
Osteogenesis imperfecta6–8 IU/kg dailyCorrection of deficiency statusRecommendation of the Kennedy Krieger Osteogenesis Imperfecta Clinic
Polycystic ovary disease13450 000 IU of VTD weekly or biweeklyNormalized menstrual cycles in >50% of patientsVery small study
Premenstrual syndrome135700 IU/d40% reduction in risk of having symptomsIncreased dietary calcium is known to decrease symptoms135
Colon cancer136138To achieve levels of 65-100 nmol/L40%–80% risk reduction with supplement; rectal cancer reduced by 48%; exposure to sunlight reduced risk by 38%137Increased dietary calcium is known to decrease risk, but benefit for >700 mg/d is minimal139
Cancer of the prostate140Serum level of 25(OH)D =40– <60 nmol/L50% risk reduction1251 study suggests >80 nmol/L might increase risk141
Cancer of the pancreas142300–450 IU/d compared with 150 IU/d43% risk reduction 22% risk reductionHigher doses gave no further protection142
Cancer of the breast>50 nmol/L compared with 50 nmol/L50%–70% risk reduction143Sun exposure reduces mortality144
Cancer of the ovary144,145Exposure to sunlight16% risk reduction; risk is 5 times higher among those living farther north in the United StatesDespite these studies, more information is needed
Upper respiratory tract infections48600–700 IU given as cod-liver oil50% risk reductionAlso given selenium and omega-3 fatty acids
Lower respiratory tract infections49Children with levels <25 nmol/L11 times more likely to be infected
Seasonal influenza77Levels as high as 125 nmol/L have been suggestedImmune function improved in various immune cellsClinical trials needed
Mycobacterium tuberculosis78To restore levels to normal physiologic levels, >100 nmol/L are suggestedIncreased production of macrophages’ antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin kills Mycobacterium tuberculosisClinical trials needed
Idiopathic back pain35Restoring levels from <25–>80 nmol/L100% of deficient patients had pain resolve using 5000 IU/d of VTD340 patients (85%) had deficient levels of 25(OH)D
Nonspecific chronic musculoskeletal pain117Restoring levels from 21 nmol/L to normal levels67% of patients had complete resolution of symptomsDiagnosis prior to VTD deficiency was somatization
Reduced tooth loss in the elderly400–600 IU of VTD and 1000 mg of calcium50% improvement in tooth retention over 2 yEffect of VTD not assessed independently50
  • 25(OH)D—25-hydroxyergocalciferol, IU—international units, UVB—ultraviolet B, VTD—vitamin D.