Sunday Morning Musings

Sunday Morning Musing – November 29, 2009

Targeted for completion and release of a new report on Vitamin D and Calcium requirements the IOM will continue to have closed meetings.  A report is scheduled to be released May 2010.  I can imagine that the pressure is high for this independent organization that is to provide unbiased and authoritative information to the public and decision makers.  I found it interesting when this committee was formed about 12 months ago with no one that was to have bias but I am not sure if that is true.  No one was selected for the committee that has done a significant amount of vitamin D research which I find unusual.  I would hope that these persons after review of the data would come to the conclusion that vitamin D plays an extremely significant role in our health and taking anything less than or equal to 10,000 IU of D3 per day is perfectly safe.  There is no record of any toxicity at less than 30,000 IU per day so this is a safety factor of three.  By the way, have you ever heard of anyone dying from vitamin D toxicity?

There really seems to be more than an adequate sufficiency of data so that we will not read a report that says there is not enough research to support raising the safe upper limit from the current 2000 IU per day to 10,000 IU per day.  Considering the huge number of diseases that vitamin D affects to do less would be a total disregard for the science and empathy for the ill.  I just cannot imagine another 10 years of people suffering the severe consequences of vitamin D deficiency while we wait on research to determine mechanisms.  My own personal journey of 25 years of suffering pain brings their decisions close to home.  By the way, the 2000 IU per day upper limit was based on what is safe for a one year old child from research in the 1960’s.  I still do not understand how this could be translated to an adult that could weigh 5 times or more what the one year old would weigh.

There is a lot to be gained and a lot to be lost.  Imagine being a medical insurer or a healthcare provider and discover that the increased amount of vitamin D could cause a drop of 25 to 50 % in your business.  What would you do with all of those employees and facilities that you have invested?  On the other hand if you have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, a viral infection, degenerative disc disease, or just want to perform at your best at athletics then changing the guidelines on vitamin D would be hugely significant.  Also what could it mean if there was significant reduction in lost work days because of fewer colds and less back pains?  This shifting of the centers of commerce will have significant positive or significant negative effects depending on what is your view.

Suppose you are the CEO of a large health insurer and you have several chronic diseases.  What would your position be?      – Pandemic Survivor

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