Unfortunately this isn’t a straight forward question. There is a wide range of recommendations
The Nutrient Reference Values for New Zealand are:
|Age||AI (Adequate Intake)|
|0-50 yr||200 IU|
|51-70 yr||400 IU|
|71+ yr||600 IU|
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) have the following recommendations for Vitamin D intake.
Note that these are considerably higher than the recommendations above.
|Infants 0-12 months||0 IU/day|
|1-18 years||600 IU/day|
|Over 70 years old||800 IU/day|
|Pregnant women aged 14-50||600 IU/day|
The New Zealand and the FNB’s recommendations are to achieve a 25(OH)D level of 50 nmol/L – which as I mentioned in this article is just far too low.
Many experts have publically criticised these recommendations. My personal belief is that these recommendations will increase dramatically over the next couple of years to be more in line with current research that shows the beneftis of higher levels of vitamin D.
Dr Mercola – Who has one of the largest health websites has the following vitamin D intake recommendations. Dr Mercola goes into detail on his site to justify these levels. These are around 10x higher than the recommendations above!
|Below 5||16 IU per kg per day|
|Age 5 - 10||2500 IU|
|Pregnant Women||5000 IU|
The Weston A Price Foundation - an organisation that provides health and nutrition education, recommendations are:
|Children age 3 months to 12 years||500-1000IU/day|
|Children over 12 years and adults||1000-2000IU/day|
|Pregnant and nursing women||2000-4000 IU/day|
Putting all this information shows the large variety in recommendations. It's also important to note that the amount of vitamin D required for the individual will vary depending on their vitamin D status – which can only be determined by a 25(OH)D test – see this article. Illness and medical conditions can also increase the vitamin D requirement.
In my opinion the New Zealand, and FNBs recommendations are far too low. If I’m asked to quote numbers my recommended intakes would be:
Children <12 yrs 2000 - 3000 IU/day
Adults 3000-4000 IU/day
Pregnant and nursing women 5000 IU/day
If you're looking to achieve this with Green Pasture cod liver oil the vitamin D levels of our cod liver oil varies from batch to batch. The latest test data can be found here
If we assume that cod liver oil carries 750 IU/ml.
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) = 1875 IU – my recommendation for children <12yr
- 1 tsp (5 ml) = 3750 IU – my recommended dosage for over 12 yrs
- 1.5 tsp (7.5ml) = 5625 IU – my recommended dosage for pregnant or lactating women
- Note that 2 x capsules = 1ml or 750 IU