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Are you at risk for vitamin D deficiency?
By Raji Edayathumangalam, PhD
The answer to that question depends on whether your daily vitamin D intake is adequate or whether you have any risk factors for vitamin D deficiency and adverse effects on bone health.
The Vitamin D Debate
Last year, the IOM announced an increased daily recommendation of 600 international units (IU) for children and adults less than 70 years, 800 IU for adults over age 70, and an increased daily, safe upper limit from 2,000 IU to 4,000 IU.
At a recent lecture and panel discussion at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, vitamin D researchers disputed the IOM’s conclusion that most of the US population has adequate vitamin D levels. The featured speaker was Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, Senior Scientist and Director of Bone Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts
University, who was joined by a panel of BWH vitamin D experts including Scott T. Weiss, MD, Joann Manson, MD, and Meryl S. LeBoff, MD, who moderated the discussion.
Based on her scientific evidence, Dr. Dawson-Hughes recommended that individuals at average risk for vitamin D deficiency should take 800-1000 IU of vitamin D daily and need not be clinically tested. She also pointed out that a significant proportion of the US population satisfies one or more of the above-mentioned high-risk criteria (like obesity) and cautioned that the IOM’s public recommendations are therefore still too dangerously low for the high-risk individuals.
This page was last modified on 9/18/2015