Navigation Links
Millions May Be Taking Vitamin D Unnecessarily, Analysis Suggests
Date:10/25/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Under the latest guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, it's possible that almost 80 million Americans who've previously been considered as having low levels of vitamin D don't need supplements of this nutrient at all, according to a new study.

Older guidelines had suggested that anyone with a blood level of vitamin D that was less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) needed to boost their levels, but the newer Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines say that a minimum level of 20 ng/mL is sufficient.

However, not all experts agree with the new guidelines from the IOM, a nonprofit American organization that dispenses health advice.

"The IOM guidelines are so different than the Endocrine Society's guidelines that this study will just add to the controversy," said lead study author Dr. Holly Kramer, an associate professor of medicine at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. "We really need clinical trials to settle the whole issue, but what's clear is that these threshold levels make a huge difference in how many people would be taking vitamin D."

The Endocrine Society is an international group of endocrinologists.

Why worry about your vitamin D intake? Vitamin D is essential for good bone health, and it's necessary to prevent the disease known as rickets. The nutrient has also been implicated as potentially beneficial for a number of conditions. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with higher risks of some autoimmune diseases, and may make people more susceptible to infection.

In addition, noted Dr. Robert Heaney, a professor of medicine at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., low vitamin D has also been associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome -- a group of symptoms that signal higher risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Heaney is a member of the Endocrine Society's task force on vitamin D guidelines.

"Vitamin D is necessary in most cells in our body, probably all cells," Heaney said. "When you have adequate vitamin D, all of the body's systems tend to work well." But, "there is no consensus on what normal levels are in the field of nutrition," he added.

For the current study, Kramer and her colleagues reviewed data on more than 15,000 adults from the third U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and linked that information to 18 years of information from the National Death Index to determine if vitamin D had an effect on mortality rates.

The researchers found that in people with impaired kidney function, about 35 percent had vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL. In people with healthy kidneys, about 30 percent had levels below 20 ng/mL, according to the study.

But for the older, higher vitamin D threshold, 76.5 percent of people with impaired kidney function would be considered to have low levels of vitamin D, as would 70.5 percent of people with healthy kidneys.

"Even under the new guidelines, there are still a fair number of people who are considered deficient or insufficient," Kramer said.

There was a big difference in mortality rates for those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D -- less than 12 ng/mL -- compared to those with levels between 24 and 30 ng/mL. But after that, Kramer said, there wasn't much difference in mortality between the groups.

Heaney also noted how findings varied according to vitamin D levels.

He said that while there wasn't a huge effect from group to group depending on vitamin D levels, there was "a continuing downward trend" with less mortality as vitamin D levels went up.

So where does that leave people trying to decide whether to take the supplements?

Kramer said that right now the decision may depend on your personal situation, and suggested talking to your doctor about whether extra vitamin D is necessary for you. People with certain medical conditions need to be on vitamin D. But, she said that others are taking supplements who don't need to and that it's just a waste of their money.

For his part, Heaney noted that taking vitamin D and other nutrients may be akin to changing the oil in your car. "If you don't change the oil, your car runs well now, but it may break down sooner," he said.

In terms of side effects, Kramer said, too much vitamin D can increase the risk of kidney stones, but in general, it's a well-tolerated supplement. The upper safe limit for daily intake is 4,000 international units, according to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements, though most people take a much lower dose.

Results of Kramer's study are published in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

More information

To learn more about vitamin D, visit the U.S. government's Office of Dietary Supplements.

SOURCES: Holly Kramer, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill.; Robert P. Heaney, M.D., professor of medicine, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.; Oct. 24, 2012, PLoS ONE


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. OHSU study: Misdiagnosis of MS is costing health system millions per year
2. Asthma Cases Continue to Rise in U.S., Affecting Millions
3. Millions of Americans Have Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure: CDC
4. Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
5. Seniors Stop Taking Heart Drugs In Medicare Donut Hole
6. Taking Away Car Keys Can Be Tough for Older Drivers
7. Taking Anti-HIV Meds Prior to Exposure May Help Prevent Infection
8. Patients taking certolizumab pegol are twice as likely to achievE ACR20 compared to placebo
9. Young Men Taking HIV Meds May Be at Risk for Bone Loss
10. Taking the fate of stem cells in hand: RUB researchers generate immature nerve cells
11. Taking tissue regeneration beyond the state-of-the-art
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Millions May Be Taking Vitamin D Unnecessarily, Analysis Suggests
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As ... serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness Center at Florida Hospital ... for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up to 10 people can ... their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a ... design, and immune-engineering today announced the launch of ... development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has ... exclusive access to enabling technologies to the new ... will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a ... targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named the ... Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) ... at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia . ... "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up to, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: