Group urges higher recommendations for vitamin D

by Jeff Gelski
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WASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine should increase both the adequate intake (A.I.) level and tolerable upper intake level (U.L.) for vitamin D, according to comments from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (C.R.N.), a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry. Data suggest the A.I. should be about 1,000 International Units (I.U.) per day, according to the C.R.N., based in Washington. The trade association also pointed out a recent literature review and risk assessment proposed a new vitamin D U.L. of 10,000 I.U.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine in 1997 set A.I. levels of vitamin D ranging from 200 I.U. to 600 I.U., depending on a person’s age. The U.L. levels range from 1,000 to 2,000 I.U. The Institute of Medicine has selected a committee to assess data and update as appropriate intake levels for vitamin D and calcium.

The 1997 recommendations for vitamin D are "woefully outdated," the C.R.N. said. Data published over the past 10 years suggest lower vitamin D status is associated with increased risk for falls in the elderly, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, certain types of cancer and diabetes.

"New recommendations must go beyond avoidance of diseases of overt deficiency affecting only bone related outcomes and must address avoidance of long-term inadequacy or insufficiency, a consequence of which may be increased risk for several chronic diseases," the C.R.N. said.

The C.R.N. also recommended the Institute of Medicine should replace the A.I. for vitamin D with an estimated average requirement (EAR) and a recommended dietary allowance. For calcium, the C.R.N. recommended the Institute of Medicine should replace its current set of A.I.s with EARs.

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