Scientists call for higher vitamin D levels

by Jeff Gelski
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RIVERSIDE, CALIF. — Eighteen scientists associated with the University of California have signed a statement saying recommended daily intake levels of vitamin D should be raised to 2,000 International Units (I.U.). Current Adequate Intake levels for vitamin D are 200 I.U. for people up to age 50, 400 I.U. for people 51 to 70, and 600 I.U. for people over 70, according to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The consensus among U.C. scientists who signed this statement is that 2,000 I.U. per day of vitamin D3, a form of vitamin D, is the appropriate intake for most adult Americans," said Dr. Anthony Norman, Ph.D., a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and of biomedical studies at the University of California-Riverside. "This intake is 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 group of University of California scientists endorses and supports GrassrootsHealth, a public health promotion organization that launched a D*Action Community Project.

People may achieve a daily intake of 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D through a combination of food, supplements, sunshine and possibly limited tanning exposure, said Dr. Norman, who has studied vitamin D for more than 45 years.

"While more research on this topic is highly desirable, it should not delay recommending a 2,000 daily intake of vitamin D for most people," he said.

An editorial about vitamin D written by Dr. Norman will appear in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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