A new report, released today by the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, says that few people are vitamin D deficient. The scientific research says otherwise.
The new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report says that persons between the ages of 1 and 70 do not need more than 600 IU of vitamin D daily—and makes the outrageous claim that few people are actually vitamin D deficient. This is especially troubling considering we’re moving rapidly into the thick of flu season, when people need more vitamin D, not less.
This is the government’s first official vitamin D recommendation since 1997. Despite raising the new vitamin levels by 300% for most Americans, the IOM guidelines are still in contrast to overwhelming scientific evidence that confirms the significant medical benefits of higher vitamin D levels, and that one-third of Americans are vitamin D deficient.
Changes in US lifestyles mean that many people in the US get less exposure to the sun and often inadequate dietary levels of vitamin D. The New York Times reports that a number of prominent doctors have advised vitamin D supplementation for a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Their research shows that more and more people know their vitamin D levels because they are being tested for it as part of routine physical exams.
The IOM is wrong in its findings, wrong in ignoring the bountiful scientific research that indicates the need for higher levels of vitamin D in our system, and wrong for not educating folks about the ability of vitamin D to combat the flu. Our campaign to end the silence on vitamin D is one attempt to educate the public and get the government to listen to the clear scientific findings.