Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Michael F. Holick

Obesity

Posted by admin on November 27, 2008 under Obesity, Vitamin D | 16 Comments to Read

Obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency.  The reason is that the vitamin D is trapped within the fat and cannot easily exit.  As a result, obese patients need at least twice as much vitamin D as a normal weighted individual in order to maintain a normal vitamin D status with a 25(OH)D between 30-60 ng/ml.    

Wortsman J, Matsuoka LY, Chen TC, Lu Z, Holick MF. Decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72: 690-693. 

 

  • Lindy said,

    Example: I am a light skinned MN native who does not sun bathe. I am 30 pounds overweight. May I take as much as 20,000 IU a day (vitamin D) if my tests show I am D deficitiant?

  • Luigi Imperatori said,

    Dear dr. Hollik, are Italian-speaking Swiss and I apologize if I write in English using the Google translator. I am a naturopath obese (116 kg-the right weight should be 75 kg)), which recently has in-depth knowledge on vitamin D and is a week that I take 4000 IU (Dr. Mercola). What amount should I not take the test? For a smoker you need to calculate a higher dose?
    Thank you for an email response.
    Imperatori Luigi

  • admin said,

    Dear Luigi,
    I treat my obese patients with 50,000 IU of vitamin D twice a week for 8-12 weeks and check their blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. I like to achieve a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D between 100- 150 nmol per liter which is equivalent to 40-60 ng/mL.

  • Guy said,

    Dear dr holick,

    I was wondering if Vitamin D deficiency actually causes weight gain. I am 23 years old now and about 25 pounds overweight. Until about age 17 I was at a normal and healthy weight but after I graduated highschool I spent alot more time indoors and alot less exercise outside. I have been exercising for about a year now in a gym and have had some progress but not the progress I want. What are your thoughts/comments on my issue.

    Thank you for your wonderful research,

    Guy

  • admin said,

    Dear Guy,
    Vitamin D does not cause weight gain.

  • Laila said,

    Dear Dr. Holick.

    Thank you for your wonderful research.

    I live in Denmark, I´m overweight and my levels on 15th of April was 21 ng/ml.

    My doctor knows very little about vitamin D, so I feel quite alone. I offered to lend him your book, and his responce was: My time is too valuable to read about vitamin D!!

    Since april 16th. I have taken 4000IE D3 every day and I sit for 20 minutes in the sun at 10 am before going to work.
    Unfortunately the sun doesn´t shine very much i Denmark.

    My question is: For how long should I take 4000IE D3 vitamin and how often should I get tested?

    Thank you from Denmark.

    Laila

  • admin said,

    Dear Laila,
    I typically treat my patients with an equivalent of 3000 international units of vitamin D a day to maintain vitamin D sufficiency. However for my obese patients I often have them take 4000-5000 international units of vitamin D a day. Therefore I would expect that you could stay on 4000 international units of vitamin D daily. You may want to have it checked one time to be sure it is in the range of 30-100 ng/mL for 25-hydroxyvitamin D which translates into 75-250 nmol/l.

  • david said,

    i am a 44 year old smoker with htn which i take 2 meds for im also insulin dependent dm2, i take depakote and celexa for bipolar and prilosec for gerd. simvastatin for cholesterol take vit b and a one a day vitamin which has 700 iu of vit d. my vitamin d level fasting was 32.9 i weigh almost 270 lbs tsh was 1.0 also have elevated liver enzymes plz help i know theres still hope

    david j

  • Becca said,

    Dr. Holick,

    I have stumbled upon your website while searching for prenatal vitamins as I’ve just learned that I am pregnant. I am obese and I wonder if taking the recommended 4000 IU of vitamin D is safe during pregnancy?

    Thank you

  • admin said,

    Dear Becca,
    Both the Institute of Medicine and Endocrine Society have concluded that 4000 IUs of vitamin D daily is safe for all adults including pregnant women. I have my pregnant patients on a 2000 IUs vitamin D supplement along with their prenatal vitamin and other sources so that they are receiving about 3000-4000 IUs of vitamin D daily.

  • admin said,

    Dear David,
    I would recommend that you take at least 2000-3000 IUs of vitamin D a day.

  • Judy Lea said,

    Dr. Holick,

    I am confused on what dosage I need to correct my vitamin D deficiency of 18 blood level test (25-hydroxyvitamin D). I am female, 5’9″ tall and weigh 330 pounds. My doctor wanted me to take 50,000 units of Vit D a day for a month..another doctor said 50,000 units a week for a month…and my endocrinologist said to take 2,000 units a day….goodness they all are different and I do not know what to take.

    At the moment, I am trusting my pharmasist and after discussinig this with him, I am presently taking 4,000 units vit D in the A.M. and 4,000 units in the P.M….. our plan is for me to do this for a month. Then, 4,000 units daily until I run out of the pills in the bottle he sold me. I will then take 2,000 units twice a day ….my pharmasist says to get my blood tested for Vitamin D in 6 months since I started this plan to see if my blood level has come up.

    I have tremendous pain that has gotten slowly worse and worse…very difficult to walk…and went to doctor saying I feared ending up in wheel chair…my doc seems to feel this vitamin D could help me w/my symptoms since I am deficient….this is the doctor who scares me wanting me to take the 50,000 units a day.

    Would appreciate your telling me if my pharmasist and I are on the right track/the right dosage…Thank you so very much. Judy

  • Judy Lea said,

    Dr. Holick,

    I am confused on what dosage I need to correct my vitamin D deficiency of 18 blood level test (25-hydroxyvitamin D). I am female, 5’9″ tall and weigh 330 pounds. One doctor wanted me to take 50,000 units of Viit D a day for a month..another doctor said 50,000 units a day for a month…and my endocrinologist said to take 2,000 units a day….goodness they all are different and I do not know that to take.

    At the moment, I am trusting my pharmisist and after discussinig this with him, I am presently taking 4,000 units vit D in the A.M. and 4,000 units in the P.M….. our plan is for me to do this for a month. Then, 4,000 daily until I run out of the pills in the bottle he sold me. I will then take 2,000 units twice a day ….my pharmisist says to get my blood tested for Vitamin D in 6 months since I started this plan.

    I have tremendous pain that has gotten slowly worse and worse…very difficult to walk…and went to doctor saying I feared ending up in wheel chair…my doc seems to feel this vitamin D could help me w/my symptoms.

    Would appreciate your telling me if my pharmisist and I are on the right track/the right dosage…Thank you so very much. Judy

  • admin said,

    Dear Judy,
    I typically treat my patients for vitamin D deficiency with 50,000 IUs of vitamin D once a week for 8 weeks. For my patients who are overweight I will keep them on 50,000 IUs of vitamin D once a week forever. For my patients who have a normal weight I switch them to 50,000 IUs of vitamin D once every 2 weeks forever. After 6 years we have demonstrated that the blood levels are in the range of 25-hydroxyvitamin D 40-60 ng/mL. Often patients with vitamin D deficiency have proximal muscle weakness and the painful bone disease osteomalacia. I would expect that if your symptoms are associated with vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia that correcting the vitamin D deficiency should result in significant improvement in your symptoms within 3-6 months.

  • Mital Jolapara said,

    Hello Dr. Holick

    My question is regarding the dosage of vitamin D3. most of the studies state that 60000 IU table per week for 8-12 weeks will help to achieve the level of 25(OH)D to > 30 ng/ml which is for skeletal benefits. for non-skeletal benefits the range is 55-70 ng/ml so to achieve this level what should be the dosage guidlines? Thankyou in advance for you help

  • admin said,

    The recommendation from the United States Endocrine Society is to maintain blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D between 40-60 ng/mL which I subscribe to. To achieve this level for normal weight individual 3000 IUs of vitamin D a day should work. It works for not only my patients but for me as well. I don’t think you have to achieve a level of 55-70 ng/mL.

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