November 28, 2016

397 Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic? [28 Nov 2016]

With the evidence piling up that the RDA for vitamin D is too low and the concern about the increasing deficiencies of the world’s population (a 2010 article in International J of Health Sciences estimated 1 billion people worldwide), it was inevitable that there would be some pushback. It came earlier this month in a paper published in the NEJM “Vitamin D Deficiency – Is There Really a Pandemic?”

This paper argues that vitamin D deficiencies are overestimated because they are based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 600iu per day for ages 1-70 and 800iu for 70+ which correspond to a blood status of 20ng/ml (75 nmol/L in Canada). Instead (the authors argue) they should use the Estimated Average Intake (EAR) of 400iu and 600iu respectively, which brings half the population to 16 ng/ml, the minimum level to maintain adequate bone health.

A critique of this paper was published on the Vitamin D Council’s website November 18 by A. Tovey and Dr. J.J. Cannell. They made the following points:
• Even for bone health, the RDA is based on faulty statistics and is set too low
• Studies have shown that vitamin D provides many other benefits at much higher levels, so the RDA should be increased significantly
• A March 2013 paper in the Eur J Nutr concluded that vitamin D levels should be over 30 ng/ml to achieve the beneficial effect on chronic diseases.
• People living outdoors near the equator produce levels of 40-80 ng/ml which appears to be the optimum level for good health
• Blood levels of >40 ng/ml are associated with a 65% lower cancer risk
• A 2016 study found that raising blood levels of MS patients from 28 to 84 ng/ml by taking 10,000 iu per day resulted in significant improvements in quality of life scores
• Vitamin D supplementation of 6,400 iu/day safely supplied breast milk with adequate D for the nursing infant
• Raising D levels from 16 to 36 ng/ml improved depression in Swedish adolescents
• The latest data from the US shows that 70% of the population fails to meet even the very conservative 16 mg/ml.

So rather than being overestimated, the rates of vitamin D deficiencies are likely still highly underestimated. Do you know what your blood vitamin D level is?

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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