News recently broke of the first-ever formal recommendations for vitamin D and calcium intake by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. To the surprise of some, this committee recommended slightly higher daily vitamin D intake than was originally estimated 13 years ago. These recommendations, however, fall significantly short of recommended vitamin D levels set by researchers throughout the industry. In fact, the recommendations released yesterday suggest that individuals under 71 years old need no more than 600 IU of vitamin D per day. According to the Vitamin D council, this is roughly equivalent to less than two minutes of summer sunshine.
“The FNB is apparently also warning that natural vitamin D input – as occurred from the sun before the widespread use of sunscreen – is dangerous. That is, the FNB is implying that God does not know what she is doing.”
– Vitamin D Council
Equipped with this knowledge and an understanding of the benefits sunshine can provide ones health, it is reasonable to question such low recommendations. Aside from the medical industry and its constituents almost always downplaying the importance of supplement intake, the Institute of Medicine claims that 10,000 IU per day – roughly 1 hour of summer sun – has the potential to cause vitamin D toxicity, though studies solidifying this claim were never reproduced. In fact, researchers and industry experts point out slight elevation in serum calcium levels may have been discovered in individuals taking 20,000 IU per day, but these findings were disputed and certainly do not constitute clinical toxicity.
In addition, the industry was shocked to hear the Institute of Medicine claim that the current population is getting adequate amounts of vitamin D on a daily basis. Industry experts are quick to point out the prevalence of numerous issues thought to be a direct cause of vitamin D deficiency, namely “asthma, auto-immune disorders, and, as recently reported in the largest pediatric journal in the world, autism”.
Finally, the Institute of Medicine solicited reports from 14 of the top vitamin D specialists and researchers in the world. It is no surprise that each of these reports has been suppressed, not to be shared with the public. One such report was submitted by Robert Haney, a professor of medicine at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. A leading expert in vitamin D deficiencies, health benefits and supplementation, Haney says the Institute of Medicine’s recommended intake of 600 IU per day is “way too low. He says people should consider taking up to 4,000 IU per day.”
“For me, it’s a no-brainer. There is a large body of evidence for the benefit at intakes above the IOM recommendations. There is no risk, and very little cost, so why not take a chance of a benefit if there’s any possibility?”
Inevitably, this seems to boil down to one word, medicine. You see, the days of Hippocratic principles are long gone. Modern knowledge would suggest that “Thy food no longer be thy medicine” and thy medicine must be costly. Thus, a substance found to posses almost no negative qualities and with the potential to correct a wide range of imbalances, becomes a prime target for drug companies and the medicine industry to be strategically downplayed and marginalized. But hey, vitamin D could only relieve the need for some of today’s most prevalent prescription drugs. You make the call.
Vitamin D Council – www.vitamindcouncil.org
USA Today – http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/food/diet-nutrition/2010-11-30-calciumvitaD30_ST_N.htm