LETTER TO THE EDITOR | More vitamin D needed than recommended

Thank you for writing a great column on vitamin D (“Vitamin D: Your Body’s Best Immunity Booster,” Jan. 15).

I did notice one error regarding the daily recommendation for children. You say, “The National Institute of Health recommends that children take 200 IU daily.” If you go to the National Institute of Health website and search “vitamin D,” you come to this page: ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional. It recommends: 1–13 years, 600 IU.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), in its report on vitamin D and calcium, raised the DRI for vitamin D from 200 IU to 600 IU for all people over age 1 in 2010. However, as you know, 600 IU per day is not enough for most people. For adults, I believe this is off by at least a factor of 10. For example, the IOM recommends a baby infant have 400 IU per day; for a 10-pound infant, that is 40 IU per pound. Yet, the IOM only recommends 600 IU for a 200-pound adult — that works out to 3 IU per pound. As a doctor, does that make sense to you?

In addition, we know from research that 400 IU for a baby infant will raise his or her vitamin D level to more than 40 ng/ml. 600 IU for adults — not even close. You can read more from one of our Vitamin D Society press releases: “Are Adult Vitamin D Recommendations Too Low? (www.prweb.com/releases/2013/2/prweb10473512.htm).

At the Vitamin D Society, we follow the recommendations from a group of more than 42 vitamin D researchers, scientists and doctors who, through their Scientists Call to D*action document, recommend that everyone from infants to adults maintain optimal vitamin D blood levels of between 40 to 60 ng/ml. You can read more here: www.grassrootshealth.net/epidemic.

Finally, as a doctor, I urge you to speak up and recommend that your medical association challenge the IOM report on the basis that, if 400 IU is safe and effective for an infant baby, then surely a 200-pound man needs more than 600 IU. He would need 40 IU per pound or 8000 IU per day. It only makes sense.

Thank you once again for your enlightening article on vitamin D. 

Perry Holman

Executive director

Vitamin D Society

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