For many years an increasing body of scientific evidence has accumulated which indicates that Vitamin D has a number of additional health benefits in addition to its well known ability to maintain strong bones. A just-released report from the Institute of Medicine triples the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for Americans from 200 International Units (IU) to 600 IU’s. Considering the high level of vitamin D deficiency in North Americans, related no doubt to a significant reduction in sun exposure, many authorities feel that this increase falls far short of an optimum Vitamin D intake. Although direct links are difficult to prove, low levels of vitamin D have been associated with numerous chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, prostate, colon and breast cancers, stroke, depression and mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, various severe infections and autoimmune disorders. Vitamin D deficiency is well known to be associated with osteoporosis.
Dr. Blackshear’s Comment:
Vitamin D is the subject of intense research in a number of areas of medicine. In particular, a high percentage of obese patients have significantly low concentrations of vitamin D in the blood. Supplementation seems wise in these individuals since obesity is well recognized to be associated with many of the chronic disorders that vitamin D deficiency also exacerbates. It is quite likely that in the future the recommended daily intake of vitamin will rise significantly. Boston University School of Medicine professor Dr. Michael Holic recommends 2000-3000 IU/s daily for adults and further notes that in some of his research studies he had administered 50,000 IU/s twice a month for many years and seen no harmful effects.