Institute of Medicine Releases Report: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D

On November 30, 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report,  "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D," in which a committee of experts reccomend increasing daily recommendations for vitamin D from 200IU (5 ug) for everyone under 50y and 400IU (10 ug) for those 51-70y to 600IU (15 ug) for everyone under 70y and from 600IU (15ug) to 800 IU (20 ug) for those over 70y. 

The committee suggesting the changes consisted of a chair and 13 experts who spent nearly two years reviewing the scientific literature to assess nutrient intakes and to identify requirements and risks of inadequate status for children and adults of different ages. The reccomendations were based on the considerable body of science which has been published since the last review by the IOM in 1997.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is needed, along with calcium, to build strong bones. Vitamin D is also needed for muscular strength, to help maintain the immune system, and to maintain nerves needed to carry messages between the brain and every body part.

Only a limited number of foods and beverages can be fortified with vitamin D at present so most people will need to obtain their vitamin D from dietary supplements.

According to a release issued by DSM Nutritional Products, this is important because when the USDA compared vitamin D intakes to 1997 DRIs, they found that >75% of females over 14y and >55% of males over 14y were not consuming the recommended amount of vitamin D, even at the lower recommendations. Now that the DRI have been increased, even more people will have inadequate vitamin D intakes.

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