A new report from an independent panel of experts, coordinated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), has recommended significant changes in the standard daily intake and the upper limits of daily intake of vitamin D. However, some authorities are already arguing that the independent panel didn’t go far enough.
The facts — as provided by the Institute of Medicine — are available from four documents:
- The full report (Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D), which can be read on line for free
- A brief summary of the full report, also available free
- The media release issued by the National Academy of Sciences this morning
- A table showing the new recommended daily intakes of calcium and vitamin D
There is also a great deal of media coverage of the release of this report. Perhaps one of the best stories is the one in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning, which provides coverage from a variety of points of view.
The precise role of vitamin D in overall management of a variety of aspects of health is still not well established, and its value in the management of prostate cancer in particular is even less well grounded in established science.
We have no interest in attempting to review the pros and cons of all the different points of view. We feel that people should be aware of the new guidelines issued by the IOM and of the fact that there are many specialists who believe high physiological levels of vitamin D can improve health under certain specific circumstances. We will, however, repeat our general belief that good health comes from “good genes,” a variety of healthy behaviors, and a good and varied diet. Over-dependence on one particular nutrient or supplement (such as vitamin D) is probably not the ideal way to manage one’s health.