Dear Doctor: My doctor called me panicked that my vitamin D level was too low. But was it really concerning?

In the letter, a reader expresses confusion about having a low vitamin D level despite living in South Florida and receiving sufficient sunlight, vitamin D-fortified foods, and supplements. The reader’s doctor suggested taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D once a week for 12 weeks due to a low level of 29 ng/mL. Dr. Roach explains that while the level is within the acceptable range, a very large study did not show benefits from vitamin D supplementation for the majority of people. He suggests that some genetic conditions may prevent optimal vitamin D production, and those with darker skin may be more likely to have lower levels. However, Dr. Roach notes that a level of 29 ng/mL is acceptable and there’s no need for immediate concern.

In a separate question, a reader is concerned about surviving their 80s in good health. Dr. Roach advises making healthy choices such as following a healthier diet, regular exercise, balance training, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise. Regular medical checkups are also important for preventive care and identifying any new concerns. Dr. Roach stresses that choices matter for maintaining good health in the 80s and beyond.

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