Vitamin D- not as helpful as hoped for

Vitamin D- not as helpful as hoped for 

About a year and half ago (May, 2009), I posted an essay that reflected some exciting possibilities for Vitamin D being helpful to health.

As noted at the time, the preliminary evidence suggested that increasing the level of your Vitamin D could possibly reduce the chance of a range of serious illnesses, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and colon cancer, from developing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics had also recently established a recommendation for Vitamin D supplementation for all children, a policy we at Advanced Pediatrics supported.

Today, the nation's leading panel of medical experts, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a major report on the use of supplemental calcium and Vitamin D.

After studying over 1,000 studies on taking extra Vitamin D and calcium, the IOM found that with few exceptions, it was a bad idea.

Here are their findings:
  • With regard to calcium, most Americans take enough calcium to meet all their needs.   The one exception are girls ages 9-18.   Older women tend to actually take too much and increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Vitamin D levels in America are much better than one would think.  An adequate blood level of 25-OH-D, the form of Vitamin D that should be measured, is 20 ng/ml, not the 80 or 100 that was once proposed as a goal.
  • Taking extra Vitamin D can cause harm to your health.  Over 9 years of age, exceeding an intake of 4,000 Units a day can be harmful.
  • The recent claims of health benefits from taking more Vitamin D than simply bone health requires are not supported by this review.
  • The recommended dietary allowance for calcium every day is 700 mg for ages 1-3, 1000 from 4-8, 1300 from 9-18, 1000 from 19-70, 1200 from 51-70 females, 12000 if over 71.
  • For Vitamin D the recommended dietary allowance is 600 units a day from age 1-70, and 800 after that.
Bottom Line:
The promise and hope that Vitamin D might do more than help bones form has been disproven.
No longer will we be recommending supplemental Vitamin D for most children.
The guidelines above will be our guide for calcium and Vitamin D intake, which is actually quite adequate for all but 9-18 year old girls who should work to make sure they take 1300 mg of calcium a day.

Dr. Arthur Lavin

*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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