“The onus is on the people who propose extra calcium and vitamin D to show it is safe before they push it on people,” announced Christopher Gallagher MD, of the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dr. Gallagher is echoing the recent pronouncement from The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) stating that calcium and vitamin D supplements are unnecessary and dangerous.
This is in direct contradiction to numerous research studies showing that lower blood concentrations of vitamin D increase the risk of hip fractures in menopausal women by up to 70%.
This was no small study, either. It involved 40,000 participants.
And it is widely known that vitamin D and calcium work synergistically to improve bone health.
What’s even more troubling is that the mainstream media is jumping all over the story concluding that, “vitamin D is now dangerous.”
And why? Has there been one publicized case of vitamin D toxicity or fatality? Not a single one.
Just the opposite…
Thousands of studies over the past decade show that that higher doses of vitamin D are protective for heart health, brain health, breast health, prostate health, pancreatic health, muscle health, nerve health, eye health, immune health, colon health, liver health, mood health, skin health — and especially fetal health.
Indeed, low levels of vitamin D actually increase the risk of dying from all causes by 150%, according to findings published in Nutrition Research.
“In addition, a large meta-analysis involving 13,331 men and women published in 2010 known as the Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III) confirm that vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased mortality.” These results grabbed headlines around the world when they were published.
Official guidelines are way too low
If you want to optimize your vitamin D levels — and not just for the bone benefits — supplementing is crucial. But it’s nearly impossible to significantly raise your vitamin D levels when supplementing at the FNB’s meager 600 IU/day.
Citing just two of the hundreds of recently published studies on vitamin D: Japanese researchers (Urashima, et. al.) gave 1,200 IU/day of vitamin D3 to Japanese 10-year-olds in a randomized controlled trial for six months. They found the vitamin D dramatically reduced the incidence of influenza A and asthma attacks compared to the placebo group.
Likewise, a randomized controlled study of adults conducted by Professor Joan Lappe at Creighton University showed dramatic improvements in the health of internal organs when more than double the FNB’s new recommendations were administered.
An extremely biased and narrow-minded report
Obviously, the FNB committee did not read the recent medical literature or consult today’s leading vitamin D researchers.
However, it did read a number of previously written opinions from such luminaries as Professor Robert Heaney of Creighton and Harvard University’s Dr. Walter Willett at Harvard, one of the most respected nutritionist in the world.
But incredibly, these opinions were excluded from the new FNB recommendations. And the FNB committee never explained why.
How much vitamin D should you take?
According to Dr. Heaney: “There is an impressive body of scientific evidence supporting levels higher than the IOM panel is currently recommending, and for reasons that are not entirely clear, the panel has discounted that evidence.
“The public needs to know (this) evidence exists so that they can make up their own minds. It’s helpful in making those decisions, to know that intakes higher than the IOM recommends are safe. For me, that makes the decision easy. Even if the evidence for a higher intake were uncertain (and I don’t believe it is), intakes 2-5 times the IOM recommendations would carry a good chance for benefit at essentially no cost and no risk.”
So why the new lower recommendations?
The news of vitamin D’s protective benefits have caused sales to soar, growing faster than any supplement, according to The Nutrition Business Journal. Sales rose 82% from 2008 to 2009, reaching $430 million. Is the drug industry green with envy — or afraid of the competition?
One leading vitamin D authority estimates that higher doses would reduce US cancer costs alone by $50 billion per year — and I don’t believe the drug industry wants to see that happen.
Big Pharma and Big Government have been trying to confiscate our vitamins for decades.
Bad news such as this bogus vitamin D story usually precedes a big legislative push. So keep your eyes open — and your pen handy.
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