In The News: March 2011

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Health professionals in recent years have warned that most Americans are deficient in vitamin D. However, a committee convened by the Institute of Medicine now concludes that those claims were exaggerated. For the protection of bone health, it recommends a daily vitamin D intake of 600-800 IU. The panel claimed that most people have adequate amounts of vitamin D supplied by their diets and natural sources like sunshine. Tanya Edwards, MD, of Cleveland Clinics Center for Integrative Medicine, doesnt agree. She bases her opinion on the lack of long-term randomized, controlled trials to support the committees findings. "Its a step backward to claim you need only 20 nanograms per mlliliter (ng/mL) of vitamin D in the blood for good bone health. Thats still not enough. You should take enough to get your vitamin D level between 50 and 80 ng/mL and to keep it there for the rest of your life. Bone health is not the only issue. Populations with the highest vitamin D levels also have a lower incidence of Alzheimers disease, strokes, and cancer."
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