Omaha Public Radio News
3:36 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Releases Report on Vitamin D

Omaha, NE – The Institute of Medicine released a report earlier this week indicating the majority of Americans are getting enough Vitamin D.

Dr. Robert Heaney, Professor of Medicine at Creighton University is an expert on Vitamin D. He disagrees with the panel's findings, saying they are too conservative. The IOM recommends adults take 600 milligrams of Vitamin D per day, but Dr. Heaney says this is too low. He says, "There have been no recorded cases of Vitamin D intoxication below levels of 30,000 international units per day. There's no reason anybody should ever go up to 30,000 international units. But it's nice to know you've got that kind of a margin of safety. 30,000 is a long way from the 600 the institute of medicine recommended. Most adults need somewhere in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 of additional vitamin D every day. But again that's a long way from 30,000 also so there's no danger in doing that."

Dr. Heaney says if you were to follow the IOM's daily recommendations, you would be depriving yourself of whatever benefits might be associated with higher intakes. He says even milder degrees of Vitamin D deficiency in humans may cause diabetes, high blood pressure as well as cardiovascular disease.

He says the only effective way to get enough Vitamin D is through supplements.