[PHNUTR-L] Current Vitamin D Recommendations Do Not Meet Essential
Levels for Children
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Thu Jun 5 08:34:42 PDT 2008
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Current Vitamin D Recommendations Do Not Meet Essential Levels for Children
CHEVY CHASE, Md -- May 28, 2008 -- The current recommended daily
allowance of vitamin D for children is 200 IUs, but new research reveals
that children may need and can safely take 10 times that amount.
According to a recently accepted report in The Endocrine Society's
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, this order-of-magnitude
increase could improve the bone health of children worldwide and may
have other long-term health benefits.
"Our research reveals that vitamin D, at doses equivalent to 2,000 IUs a
day, is not only safe for adolescents, but it is actually necessary for
achieving desirable vitamin D levels," said Ghada El-Haff Fuleihan, MD,
American University of Beirut-Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon, and lead
author of the study.
Currently, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine
recommends an adequate daily intake of 200 IUs of vitamin D for
children. This is also the recommendation from the American Academy of
Pediatrics. These levels, however, may not be adequate for bone growth
and musculoskeletal health in children and adolescents.
"Data on appropriate vitamin D levels in the paediatric age group are
lacking," said Dr. Fuleihan. "This is a major obstacle to finding the
right daily allowance to enhance musculoskeletal health."
To help clarify these important guidelines, Fuleihan and his colleagues
conducted both short- and long-term trials to gauge the safety of
relatively high doses of vitamin D3 in children aged 10 to 17 years.
Vitamin D3 is one of the most common forms of vitamin D, and is easily
converted to 25-OHD (25-hydroxyvitamin), which is the active form of
vitamin D found in the blood. For this placebo-controlled study,
researchers gave children various doses of vitamin D at various
intervals and measured the impact this had on serum levels of 25-OHD.
For the short-term study, 25 students received 1 weekly, 14,000 IU dose
of vitamin D for 8 weeks. Serum levels of 25-OHD were then measured for
an additional 8 weeks. This portion of the test was conducted during the
summer and early fall, when the highest natural levels of vitamin D are
For the long-term, 1-year study, 340 students received either a low dose
of 1,400 IUs of vitamin D each week or a high dose of 14,000 IUs of
vitamin D each week.
Only children given the equivalent of 2,000 IUs a day of vitamin D
increased 25-OHD levels from the mid-teens to the mid-thirties, which is
the level considered optimal for adults. None of the children in either
trial showed any evidence of vitamin D intoxication.
Although many experts agree that a 25-OHD level of 30 ng/mL is desirable
in adults, what constitutes an optimal vitamin D level for children and
adolescents is more debatable. According to the researchers, due to
rapid skeletal growth, children and adolescents are more likely to be
vitamin D deficient and are far less likely to reach vitamin D levels
that doctors would consider toxic.
"Supplementation of children and adolescents with 2,000 IUs a day of
vitamin D3 is well tolerated and safe," said Dr. Fuleihan. "This is
particularly relevant in light of the increasingly recognised health
benefits of vitamin D for adults and children."
SOURCE: The Endocrine Society
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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