The IOM Got It Wrong About Vitamin D

Last week the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recommended that we not increase our calcium intake to what was recommended a decade ago and modestly double our intake of Vitamin D (to between 400 and 600 IU of Vitamin D). From personal experience, merely doubling my intake of Vitamin D didn’t do much to my low blood level of Vitamin D.

The IOM sites literature that fails to show any benefit from higher doses of Vitamin D. Although definitive studies have not been performed (such as clinical trials), there are multiple observational studies that suggest a strong effect on cancer, inflammatory responses, bone health, and metabolic responses including insulin responsiveness and blood glucose. Since Vitamin D at levels up to 2000 IU per day have not been shown to be toxic, it would be behoove patients to discuss supplementation with your doctor.

Furthermore, given the substantial observations reported in several large epidemiological studies that show an inverse correlation between Vitamin D levels and mortality, there is without question an association between vitamin D and mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all cause mortality. I know from personal experience that taking 2000 IU Vitamin D daily for the past 6 years has not resulted in any side effects (at least to my knowledge), and my blood levels rose to and remained in the normal range (40 ng/ml). I agree with the IOM that too much calcium may result in serious side effects such as kidney stones, but Vitamin D supplementation should be frankly discussed with your doctor. If you decide to take a supplement, be sure that your doctor monitors your levels.

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