Tuesday, November 30, 2010

D Update

Not D - as in Deirdre, but D as in the vitamin - I have been promoting Vitamin D in response to research and recommendations from two of my favorite health experts, Walter Willett and Kenneth Cooper.  Others have also suggested that the daily recommended amount of Vitamin D be increased as research supports its role in strengthening bone and preventing some disease. 

Many physicians have begun testing blood levels of Vitamin D as some experts warn of individual D deficiencies.  The vitamin D supplement industry has certainly benefited from these actions as food sources of Vitamin D are rare. 

 As readers know, the only supplements I DO support (as a health educator, not a doctor or nutritionist) are D, calcium and fish oil.

So today the Institute of Medicine released its report on the current Vitamin D and Calcium recommendations.  They have increased the amount of Vitamin D, the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) as opposed to RDA (the DRI is considered newer and based in research that considers the body over the lifespan).  The DRI is different for children, adults, teens, elderly,etc. You can see the report brief here and the different suggested amounts.  For middle aged adults, the DRI had been 200 IUs and many experts have suggested 1000 IUs.  The panel does not agree with the 1000 IU recommendations but has increased the DRI to 800 IU.  I am going to continue with my 1000 IU.  The IOM panel also set an upper limit - an amount not to exceed per day and that was 4000 IU.  The report addresses calcium supplementation as well, and in that case, some age/gender recs are lowered.  Check yourself.

I am reporting this to you because I want you to know what the IOM found.  Though they did not support everything that emerging research suggests, they absolutely recommend Vitamin D supplementation because the amount needed 400-800 IU is not available in foods.

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