Vitamin D has been one of the most talked about vitamins over the past two years. Experts have recently increased their recommendations for daily intake as well .
For the first time since 1997, the Institute of Medicine which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, has been asked to update their recommendations for daily intake of vitamin D by the United States and Canada. The 14-member expert committee has recently released their new recommendations for dietary reference intakes of vitamin D and calcium.
New official recommendations are not advocating the for the substantial increase in vitamin D intake that some people had expected.
Though Vitamin D is produced by your body in response to sunlight exposure, the experts have not recommended increasing sun exposure due to the risk of skin cancer. Vitamin D is also found in fortified foods (including milk) and naturally in fatty fish.
Despite suggestions and the increase in number of screening tests for vitamin D, the experts concluded that vitamin D deficiency is not as widespread concern based on the available evidence.
Concern that the previous recommendations were out-dated was based on research suggesting numerous potential health benefits of vitamin D intake. Some studies have suggested widespread deficiencies which would leaving people at potentially increased risk of everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to the common flu. Despite these studies, the expert panel concluded that further research was warranted into other health issues apart from vitamin D’s role (along with calcium) in maintaining strong bones.
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Along with these new recommendations for vitamin d intake, the expert panel has recognized the safety of vitamin D by increasing the upper limit from 2000 IU per day to 4000 IU. They did acknowledge that even at 4000 IU per day, there is no evidence of harm.
With these new guidelines released on November 30th of this year, they’ve already met with some controversy since many experts feel that they’re still inadequate. In response to these guidelines, a report was published on the Harvard School of Public Health Website.
“The new guidelines, however, are overly conservative about the recommended intake, and they do not give enough weight to some of the latest science on vitamin D and health. For bone health and chronic disease prevention, many people are likely to need more vitamin D than even these new government guidelines recommend.”
The Harvard report highlights much of the latest research on vitamin D and various ailments including: heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, cancer, immune function, the flu and common cold, risk of premature death, and tuberculosis.