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Vitamin D Guidelines Edge Upwards, But Most Americans Getting Enough: Report
Date:11/30/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Despite calls by some experts that Americans take in much more vitamin D, a new report from the Institute of Medicine finds that most people are getting enough of the nutrient each day.

The IOM did bump up the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D from the amount cited in their last report, released 13 years ago.

For many people, 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D or more each day will maintain bone health, but those aged 71 and older may need as much as 800 IUs daily, the IOM experts say. That's up from 1997 recommendations, which advised 400 IUs per day for people aged 51 to 70 and 600 IUs per day for those over 70.

"The majority of Americans and Canadians do achieve these levels," said report co-author Dr. Steven K. Clinton, a professor in the division of medical oncology at Ohio State University. "We don't feel there is a widespread problem of inadequacy," he said.

"Most people will eat enough diverse range of foods to achieve the recommended allowance," Clinton added.

The IOM experts also say that most Americans are getting enough bone-strengthening calcium in their daily diet, sticking with generally accepted recommended dietary allowances of between 700 milligrams to 1,300 milligrams per day, based on a person's age.

These updated recommendations are based on a review of almost 1,000 studies and testimony from scientists and others. Much of the evidence confirmed the importance of calcium and vitamin D in promoting bone health.

The new vitamin D recommendation, in particular, may come as a disappointment to some experts who believe that vitamin D can fight a range of diseases and have called for daily levels of vitamin D of up to 2,000 IU per day.

Many health claims beyond bone health have been made for vitamin D, which is found in certain foods but is primarily synthesized by the
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