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Current vitamin D recommendations fraction of safe, perhaps essential levels for children
Date:5/27/2008

The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D for children is 200 International Units (IUs), but new research reveals that children may need and can safely take ten-times that amount. According to a recently accepted report in The Endocrine Societys Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), this order-of-magnitude increase could improve the bone health of children worldwide and may have other long-term health benefits.

Our research reveals that vitamin D, at doses equivalent to 2,000 IUs a day, is not only safe for adolescents, but it is actually necessary for achieving desirable vitamin D levels, said Ghada El-Haff Fuleihan, M.D., of the American University of Beirut-Medical Center, Lebanon, and lead author of the study.

Vitamin D is an essential hormone for bone growth and development in children and promotes skeletal health in adults. Currently, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine recommends an adequate daily intake of 200 IUs of vitamin D for children. This is also the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics. These levels, however, may not be adequate for bone growth and musculoskeletal health in children and adolescents.

Data on appropriate vitamin D levels in the pediatric age group are lacking, said Dr. Fuleihan. This is a major obstacle to finding the right daily allowance to enhance musculoskeletal health.

To help clarify these important guidelines, Fuleihan and his colleagues conducted both short- and long-term trials to gauge the safety of relatively high doses of vitamin D3 in children ages 10-17 years.

Vitamin D3 is one of the most common forms of vitamin D, and is easily converted to 25-OHD (25-hydroxyvitamin), which is the active form of vitamin D found in the blood.

For this placebo-controlled study, researchers gave children various doses of vitamin D at various intervals and measured the impact this had on serum levels of 25-OHD.<
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Contact: Charles Blue
cblue@endo-society.org
301-941-0240
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

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