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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Nordic countries will reevaluate vitamin D recommendations

This spring, Nordic countries are set to reevaluate their recommendations for vitamin D. The Nordic Council of Ministers has appointed a working group to review and set new guidelines for fat and carbohydrate quality, protein, alcohol, calcium, folate, iodine, iron, food-based dietary guidelines and of course, vitamin D.

One professor is pushing for a significant increase in vitamin D recommendations.

“All the evidence that we have supports the idea that vitamin D concentrations have an inverse relationship to the occurrence of numerous diseases. It is known that breast cancer, intestinal cancer and MS are like this,” says Illari Paakari, Professor of Medical Science at Helsinki University.

Current guidelines recommend 300 IU for people aged 2 to 60 years, and 400 IU for those aged 60 and older. Paakari would like to see recommendations change to 400 IU for children up to the age of 10 years and 800 IU for people older than 10 years. He bases these recommendations on the belief that the suggested amounts would bring vitamin D blood levels up to a range where bone diseases would be prevented.

Paakkari believes current guidelines falsely mislead people into thinking they are taking sufficient amounts of vitamin D, while in fact the research shows that is not actually the case.

In response to the belief that there is a significant danger of toxicity, Paakkari references the revised upper intake level for vitamin D published by the European Food Safety Authority. The organization recently doubled the previous upper intake level to 4,000 IU for adults, 2,000 IU for younger people, and 1,000 IU for children.

“Before the recommendations were 50 micrograms per day,” said Paakkari. “That the amount has doubled shows that the toxicity of vitamin D has been overblown.”

A working group in charge of the Nordic Nutritional Recommendations has assembled a team of experts and reviewers to assess the vitamin D research and settle on an updated recommendation.

The appointed working group set to change recommendations include Rikke Andersen, PhD, of the department of nutrition at the University of Denmark, Karl Michaelsson, MD, of the department of surgical sciences at Uppsala University, and Gunnar Sigurdsson, PhD, MD, of the department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Landspitali University Hospital in Iceland; all of which have published numerous papers on vitamin D.

The new recommendations will affect the countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. Find more information on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations website at http://www.slv.se/en-gb/Startpage-NNR/.

Sources

News. Professor urges higher vitamin D supplement recommendations. Yle uutiset. November 23, 2012.

Norden. Experts and reviewers. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. September 19, 2012.