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.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.


  1. Would you believe I went for my usual blood tests and was told Medicare no longer covers Vit D test unless you have rickets? I could have it for $600.00 if I wanted.
    I’ve had it before and was in o.k. range and take enough Vitamin D not to worry about a test…..but it is just one more short-sighted money saving (??) decision from the Medicare folks. It would make sense to limit the time periods if it is an expensive test, but not wait until you are sick and then use it for monitoring???

    If you are giving a class at New Adventures this fall, I would suggest you use the experience description in these mailings .. it’s better than the one used now.

  2. You can get it down for like $60 on your own. But I rarely test–it’s safe at reasonable levels and almost everyone is suboptimal anyway!

    You lost me on the “experience” description…? You mean the title of the blog? I’m always open to ideas.

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