IOM Reports on Vitamin D and Calcium

The Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Science has presented their report on vitamin D and calcium.  They choose to not ‘rock the boat’.  They made it perfectly clear in the report summary and at the report presentation at 10 AM EST this morning that they considered bone health only.  I viewed the presentation online and noticed that attendance at the meeting was sparse.  I suspect this was because of their news release on Monday stating that they were considering bone health only and that the DRI’s were not changed significantly.

Highlights of the report included:

  • Bone health only was considered for setting the DRI’s
  • The ‘one size fits all’ remains in place because they considered bone health only
  • The amounts of vitamin D is from all sources with the idea that sun exposure is limited
  • Serum 25(OH)D was considered as adequate at a level of 20 ng/ml
  • Vitamin D from all sources at 600 IU per day should achieve this level
  • Suggested range for 25(OH)D was from 20 to 50 ng/ml
  • No improvement to bone could be found above 50 ng/ml
  • They felt that regular serum testing was not necessary
  • The upper limit of daily intake was doubled to 4,000 IU of D3 per day
  • They were excited about the new research on vitamin D but decided there was too much uncertainty to increase levels
  • They encouraged continue research
  • There was emphasis of damage that could occur from an excess of vitamin D with fear about kidney damage and increased pancreatic cancer at higher levels among smokers
  • The amount of calcium intake was left about the same at approximately 1000 mg per day
  • They only considered 1000 papers (this seems odd as there will  be more than 2500 published this year – I would suppose this is because they considered bone health only)
  • Treatment and prevention of disease with vitamin D was left firmly in the domain of health care providers

The only really good thing that happened was that the upper limit of daily intake from all sources was increased to 4000 IU per day from 2000 IU per day.

After further digestion of their statements, I will give you my thoughts on Thursday.

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