Today, The Endocrine Society released "Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline." The clinical practice guideline (CPG) is published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of The Endocrine Society.
The major source of vitamin D for children and adults is exposure to natural sunlight as very few foods naturally contain or are fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is common throughout the world and results in abnormalities of calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism which can lead to muscle weakness, osteomalacia, osteopenia and osteoporosis. In children, vitamin D deficiency can result in skeletal deformities known as rickets.
"Vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups and it is important that physicians and health care providers have the best evidence-based recommendations for evaluating, treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency in patients at highest risk," said Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, of the Boston University School of Medicine and chair of the task force that authored the CPG. "The Society's new Clinical Practice Guideline was developed by experts in the field who carefully reviewed the current literature and features the latest and most comprehensive recommendations available on the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency."
Recommendations from the CPG include:
The CPG also features recommendations for dietary intake of vitamin D in patients at risk for vitamin D deficiency. These recommendations include:
"At the present time, there is not sufficient evidence to recommend screening individuals who are not at risk for deficiency or to prescribe vitamin D to attain the non-calcemic benefit for cardiovascular protection," said Holick.
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The Endocrine Society