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Americans getting enough vitamin D though guidelines increase

by nickj on December 1, 2010

Though the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently tripled their recommendation for daily calcium and vitamin D intake for children and most adults, they also reported that the vast majority of North Americans are getting enough of the nutrient as it is.

A volume of research that indicated the potential unharnessed benefits of the sunshine vitamin prompted the United States and Canada to call for the updated guidelines, reports the Washington Post.

Experts at the IOM raised the recommended levels, but said on Tuesday that there were no widespread deficiencies or conclusive evidence regarding the possible health benefits or potential risks originally thought to result from deficiencies.

For the first time since 1997, the Institute raised the daily vitamin D allowance for those between the ages of 9 and 70 to 600 international units (IU) of the nutrient, with a target of 400 IU for infants and 800 IU for those over 70. Previous recommendations were 200 IUs for children and adults aged 9 to 50, 400 IUs for those aged 50 to 70 and 600 daily IUs for those over 70.

The 14-member committee also concluded that most Americans have no difficulty meeting these higher recommendations, however, and most Americans are already getting the recommended daily amount of calcium.

"Most people will eat enough diverse range of foods to achieve the recommended allowance," report author Dr. Steven Clinton told HealthDay News.

The report also redefined the maximum levels of nutrient intake, though the experts cautioned against reaching these potentially toxic levels. Most people should get no more than 4,000 IUs per day and small children should receive less. The panel found that taking nutritional supplements may be useless at best.

Some researchers think the increases are insubstantial, however. Nutritional biochemist Bruce Hollis told USNews.com that "this was a big waste of money."

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