Worldwide Policy Change for Vitamin D

Anthony Norman, distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biomedical Science, Emeritus Presidential Chair of Biochemistry at the University of California Riverside, and leading international expert in Vitamin D, has proposed that a worldwide policy change is needed on the daily intake of vitamin D to prevent many diseases that vitamin D has been found to impact during the last 25 years.  These diseases include rickets, adult osteomalacia, cancer, autoimmune type-1 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and muscle weakness.  Dr. Norman leads with this statement, “A reduction in the frequency of these diseases would increase the quality and longevity of life and significantly reduce the cost of medical care worldwide.”

Here is the link to the press release: Biochemist proposes worldwide policy change to step up the intake of vitamin D.

Here is the paper that was presented to the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Anthony Norman seems hesitant to state where the level of intake should actually be to meet the requirements of the body.  He says there is no science to substantiate the safety of long term higher levels of vitamin D and suggest four possible scenarios of policy change.  He does however state the observational data of populations at the various latitudes support safety for higher intake levels.  I believe that Anthony is just trying to appease the powers in control of national policy because of the huge change in medical economics that will occur.  The science for adequate amounts that the body needs, as stated by Dr. Heaney of Creighton University at 75 IU /kg/d, is found in all the people that live in the sunny latitudes where the serum 25(OH)D levels range between 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml.  This serum level range is adequate to take care of most of the chronic disease issues.

We indeed are at a crossroad and now it is a matter of political will to see if we go for health or if we will follow the principles of former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt of ‘markets before mandates.’

A. Catherine Ross, chairman of the FNB on vitamin D and calcium, we patiently await your guidance in the report to be issued in November.

What you can do while we wait to see what the “powers” do to advise doctors and the population as a whole is to be sure that you follow Dr. Heaney’s discovered amount of vitamin D required by the body of 75 IU of D3 per kilogram per day.  If you need help with the math, that is about 35 IU of D3 per lb.  A hundred pound person would need 3500 IU per day and a 200 pound person would need 7000 IU per day.

The interesting thing about how much the population should be advised to take seems to hinge on past practice of stating a single amount per day as if the population is not capable of doing simple math.  What is wrong with telling everyone that they should get 800 to 1000 IU per 25 lbs of body weight per day from all sources to maintain and adequate amount of vitamin D.

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