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Updates: The most complete version of this article is available at the following location

Copyrights: Copyright © 2015 by author(s) and International College of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

Citation: Vasquez A. Iatrogenic induction of vitamin D deficiency: The position against this potentially harmful practice and open

invitation for its proponents to articulate substantiation.

Int J Hum Nutr Funct Med


International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

Photos from Spain, France, United States © by Dr Vasquez, 2012-2015

Perspective and Invitation

• Evidence-Based Medicine • Nutritional Science • Iatrogenesis

Iatrogenic Induction of Vitamin D Deficiency:

The Position Against This Potentially Harmful Practice and Open

Invitation for Its Proponents to Articulate Substantiation

Alex Vasquez DC ND DO FACN


Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is unique in nutritional science for

its impressive safety, low cost, and wide range of clinical

applications. The breadth of its clinical applications provides

evidence of the importance of this nutrient/hormone in a wide

range of physiologic functions, including calcium absorption

and bone health, maintenance of gut mucosal integrity,

maintenance of muscle strength, anti-inflammatory benefits,

modulation of NFkB, antirheumatic and anti-autoimmune

benefits, immunosupportive and anti-infection benefits, anti-

cancer benefits, cardioprotection, neuroprotection, and ability to

prevent deficiency-induced musculoskeletal pain, weakness,

and seizures. In 2004, the current author lead the writing of an

important review paper for the integrative medicine and

functional medicine communities in

Alternative Therapies in

Health and Medicine

, and

this paper sought to effect

a "paradigm shift" in the

way vitamin D is perceived

by clinicians with the hope

that more clinicians would

embrace its use for the

benefit of their practices

and patients.


For the

eleven years following that

publication, the key points

of that article and its

derivatives—including a

letter published in the

British Medical Journal


and a clinical trial published in


of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism


— remain strong,

and they have been further supported and extended by the

accumulation of additional clinical experience and a wide range

of scientific investigations, ranging from

in vitro

studies, to

animal studies, to clinical trials, to epidemiologic studies and

meta-analyses. Humans have an absolute requirement for

vitamin D3, with catabolic use of approximately 4,000 IU per

day for adults


, consistent with physiologic production and


4,000 IU/d used in several successful clinical trials.


In contrast to this consistent and logical science, the

mechanistic understandings and clinical success, a small group

of presenters, authors, and clinicians have advocated, not simply

against the manifold merits of vitamin D3, but have actually

championed the intentional iatrogenic induction of vitamin D

deficiency. The purpose of

this article is to briefly

outline the arguments




and to invite

proponents of "medically



deficiency" to clearly

articulate their position, its




provide a risk/cost-benefit

ratio substantiating what is

otherwise contrary to the

bulk of science and clinical

practice on this topic.

Vasquez et al. Clinical importance of vitamin D.

Altern Ther Health


2004 .

This 2015 article has an accompanying

video located at