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It’s like trying to get all the exercise you need this month. You decide to get up, head out for a 40 mile run and then sit on the sofa for 4 weeks until the next one.

Ridiculous – right?

So then why do many research studies use what is called ‘bolus’ dosing or dosing at higher rates for vitamins, but at intervals that are far apart? For example, if they want to test what 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily would do, instead of having subjects take 1,000 IU every day (because they can’t economically monitor that), they give each subject 30,000 IU once a month and have them come into a central location and watch them take the dosage (or placebo). This saves costs for the clinical trial center, the cost of supplements, packing and posting, the cost of monitoring subjects in a trial, and to ensure every participant had the dose they say they did.

The problem is that bolus dosing does not replicate daily dosing. This is why some studies using bolus high dose amounts show poor results. One large study found that among older women, annual oral administration of high-dose vitamin D resulted in an increased risk of falls and fractures, not reduction. This is because the body needs a regular supply of vitamin D to protect bones and other aspects of health including immunity.

They gave their subjects 500,000 IU vitamin D once a year, for three to five years. It would have been a better study if they had given the treatment group a small dose eg 1,000 IU every day to keep sufficient levels in the blood throughout the year.

Many people forget to take their vitamin D every day but it is important to give our body a regular supply, especially when we are limited on sunshine and need to protect our immune system.

Altruvita Vitamin D3 is available from only 10p a day when you sign up for a 12 month subscription.

* EU REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS