Vitamin D is essential for promoting the calcium absorption needed for bone growth and remodeling and is one of the most important elements in an osteoporosis prevention program.

As the importance of Vitamin D becomes better understood, there is significant controversy over vitamin D dosage and the target blood levels required for healthy bone development and general well-being. Research now suggests that vitamin D deficiency is widespread in northern countries and may be a factor in various cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases and depression. Government guidelines for vitamin D are currently under review and are expected to recommend increased vitamin D dosage in response to recent research findings.

Although the new government guidelines are expected in 2010, the debate over optimal vitamin D dosage will likely continue. More research is needed on the many factors that impactRAD 140 results vitamin D deficiency including ethnicity, gender, region of residence; age group and medical conditions. A review of current recommendations will provide a useful context for designing an osteoporosis prevention program while the debate continues.


The current Adequate Intake (AI) levels for Vitamin D were established in 1997 by the U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. (These recommendations are currently under review.) The recommendations are for 200 IU (international units) daily for everyone under the age of 50, including pregnant/lactating women. For all individuals 50-70 years-old, 400 IU is recommended and for those 70 years-old 600 IU is suggested. The recommended upper limit of 2,000 IU daily is now considered outdated by most medical professionals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration identified a Daily Value (DV) of 400 IU for vitamin D for all adults and for children over the age of four. The percentage daily value of Vitamin D listed on dairy products, soymilk, cereals and vitamin supplements are based on 400 IU-although most experts now consider this insufficient to protect our bone health. Regions north of the 42 latitude (north of Boston, Rome and approximately Beijing) require significantly more vitamin D either through fortified foods or supplements as there is insufficient ultraviolent radiation from the sun during the late fall and winter to allow vitamin D to be produced naturally through the skin.

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