Vitamin D Controversy
The Committee was asked to review current data and make a recommendation about appropriate dietary intake of Vitamin D and Calcium. I will give you the cliff notes. They report that most Americans and Canadians are getting just about enough Vitamin D and Calcium in their diets and sticking with the recommended 700 mg to 1,300 mg a day of Calcium is just fine. For most people, 600 IUs of Vitamin D is enough for bone health but those age 71 and older may need 800 IUs. These levels are easily reached through a healthy diet without the need for nutritional supplements, according to the researchers.
Talk about confusion! Over the past 5 years I have read numerous studies in reputable journals that correlate higher Vitamin D levels with decreased heart disease, depression, bone disease, fractures, hypertension and several autoimmune diseases. One study linked low levels of Vitamin D with Parkinson's disease and another from Harvard Medical School linked low levels with asthma in children. These studies were in peer reviewed journals and doctors were encouraged to test for and treat low Vitamin D.
I trust the Institute for Medicine (IOM). They are not biased. But I am keeping a healthy degree of suspicion that this is not the end of the story. I have never recommended the supra-high doses and there has been no evidence that low levels need to be "quickly" raised with 50,000 IU doses. I have usually recommended 1000 to 2000 IU/day for patients that have low levels and I aim for a target of at least 40 on a blood test.
At this time, I will continue these recommendations and await the fire-storm to smolder out.
here and here and here to read my prior (well researched) posts on Vitamin D.