Vitamin D can improve the absorption of essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium. Blood levels of 25(OH)D below 30 nmol/L increase overall mortality. Levels above 78 are considered necessary for bone and parathyroid health. Cancer prevention is not maximal until the blood level is 90. Fighting infections such as tuberculosis and influenza require a level over 100. Levels above 120 are associated with the lowest mortality rates.
Problems are being found with vitamin D levels being too high, such as above 150 nmol/L. Vitamin D can enhance the absorption of harmful minerals, such as aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, lead, radioactive cesium, and radioactive strontium. It does not alter blood levels of mercury.
To prevent harm to people’s health, it is important to study the effects of vitamin D on minerals since, at this time, so many people take vitamin D supplementation. We know that vitamin D increases cadmium absorption. In chicks, vitamin D increases the absorption of cobalt. In the summertime, increased levels of vitamin D correlate with increased lead levels in the presence of low levels of calcium in humans. Increased lead and cadmium levels interfere with the normal activity of vitamin D in the body. (Further studies are needed concerning the accumulation of toxic metals in the presence of high levels of vitamin D.)
Magnesium is a co-factor necessary for vitamin D to function. Low magnesium contributes to heart problems, anxiety, and impaired immune function. This is a serious problem since 68% of US adults consume less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This is partly due to the removal of magnesium during food processing.
Zinc is important to bone health, while the daily intake only ranges from 46-63% of the RDA. Eighty percent of Americans do not consume the RDA for zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron. This leads to increased risk of absorption of toxic minerals.
Recent studies show that high intakes of calcium may have negative effects on the heart. However, it is important to remember that low intakes of calcium may have negative effects on other body systems by toxic mineral accumulation when the person is taking vitamin D.
The chemical commonly tested in the blood to determine the amount of vitamin D in the body is 25(OH)D. A dose of 4000 IU of vitamin D-3 appears to be the dose which, for most of the US population, would result in a blood level in the 100 to 150 nmol/L range. Annual blood level monitoring is suggested.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with vitamin D should be accompanied by an adequate intake of essential minerals to avoid enhancing the intake of toxic minerals.