Latest News » New study suggests IOM has miscalculated recommended level of vitamin D

The IOM's minimum recommendation for vitamin D intake may only be one-tenth of what's actually healthy, according to a new study.

Despite recommendations set by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM), many Americans often fall short of the necessary guidelines for vitamin D intake, raising their risk for heart disease, weakened bones, fatigue and even a decline in cognitive thinking and brain health. But while supplements may help those with deficiencies bring their vitamin D levels up to healthier amounts, new research suggests the IOM's recommendation may have actually been a miscalculation and that what we think is an adequate intake of vitamin D is actually still far too low.

That finding came courtesy of a joint study from researchers at Creighton University and University of California, San Diego, who concluded that the IOM's minimum vitamin D recommendation of 600 IU per day — or 800 IU/day for those over age 70 — "underestimates the need by a factor of ten," and that the minimum necessary amount for a healthy vitamin D intake should actually be much closer to 7,000 IU/day.

"Calculations by us and other researchers have shown that these doses are only about one-tenth those needed to cut incidence of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency," said Dr. Cedric Garland, one of the study's lead authors and a UC San Diego adjunct professor, in the journal Nutrients. "Both these studies suggest that the IOM underestimated the requirement substantially. The error has broad implications for public health regarding disease prevention and achieving the stated goal of ensuring that the whole population has enough vitamin D to maintain bone health."

Although the IOM does recommend 10,000 IU/day as a maximum limit for vitamin D intake in teens and adults, the researchers note the minimum recommendation of just 700 IU/day is misleadingly short and that the baseline recommendation should be reset at around 7,000 IU/day.

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