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Biochemist proposes worldwide policy change to step up daily vitamin D intake
Date:8/9/2010

/a>, Norman and Roger Bouillon of the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, warn that if the current nutritional guidelines for vitamin D remain unchanged, rickets and osteomalacia, which could be easily prevented, will continue to occur.

They add that if the present guidelines for vitamin D intake are strictly implemented and applied worldwide to pregnant or lactating women, newborns and children, the occurrence of rickets in infants could be effectively eradicated.

Norman, the first author of the review paper, and Bouillon note that if the daily dietary intake of vitamin D is increased by 600-1000 IU in all adults above their present supply, it would bring beneficial effects on bone health in the elderly and on all major human diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic and immune diseases).

The researchers add, however, that if the vitamin D dietary intake were increased to 2000 IU per day and even more for subgroups of the world population with the poorest vitamin D status, it could favorably impact multiple sclerosis, type-1 diabetes, tuberculosis, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk factors and most cancers.

About vitamin D:

Also known as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D was discovered 90 years ago as a dietary agent that prevented the bone disease rickets.

Exposure to the sun is the body's natural way of producing the vitamin. Skin exposed to solar UVB radiation can produce significant quantities of vitamin D. But this vitamin D synthesis is reliably available year-round only at latitudes between 40 degrees north and 40 degrees south. A combination of sunshine, food, supplements, and possibly even limited tanning exposure can raise the daily intake of the vitamin to 2000 IU.

Vitamin D is itself biologically inert. Its biological effects result only after it is metabolized first in the liver and then in the kidney a pro
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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