Up Your Vitamin D
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008

University of California scientists have begun a crusade to get the government to drastically increase the recommended dosage for vitamin D amongst Americans. With more and more research appearing which highlights the preventative and proactive benefits of the vitamin, we've had a lot to say about vitamin D here over the past few months, and as new info and recommendations come in, we'll continue to pass them along.

Eighteen California researchers, led by Anthony Norman, professor emeritus of biochemistry and of biomedical sciences at UC Riverside, aim to see that you hear about vitamin D too. The group has asked government officials to take another look at their recommendations for vitamin D. Currently, the recommended daily doses are set at 200 international units (IU) for people up to 50 years old, 400 IU for people 51 to 70, and 600 IU for those over 70.

“The consensus among UC scientists who signed this statement is that 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3, a form of vitamin D, is the appropriate intake for most adult Americans,” said Dr. Norman. “This intake is the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine’s upper limit for daily intake, and is 400 IU less than the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine’s ‘no adverse health effect’ level. Scientific concerns about this level of intake are minimal, based on the findings of the National Academy of Sciences.” 

The amount of research available at this time is strong enough to warrant such an increase, though the research group noted that more research was highly desirable. The group of scientists, which included researchers from UC Riverside, Davis, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, also stated that raising vitamin D supplementation to such levels could work to reduce the incidence of type 1 diabetes, forms of cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.

To bring vitamin D levels up, the group recommended a diverse approach: a combination of food, sunshine, and supplements. Generally, most vitamin D is received through natural sunlight; however, skin and cancer concerns do not allow for individuals to follow this single path to vitamin D satiety. Also, vitamin D does not occur in very many foods naturally, though now items like milk and orange juice are often fortified with it. As a result, researchers see this three-headed approach (vitamin supplements, a little sun, and the vitamin in the food's where you can get it) as not only desirable, but fundamentally essential.

Norman has been researching vitamin D for more than 45 years. We have an earlier post about his work, concerning the vitamin D receptor that is essential in 36 different organs that respond to the vitamin. For more info, please have a look at the links below:

DSIB: Vitamin D

UC: Vitamin D Expert at UC Riverside Leads UC Scientists' Call Recommending Increase in Daily Vitamin D Intake

Grassroots Health: The Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic

DSIB Blog:

36 Organs

Recommended Vitamin D for Kids Doubles

Monthly Vitamin D

A Round of Vitamin D

 

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