Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk02/27/11
SUNDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A new study says it takes
far more vitamin D than initially thought to dramatically cut the
risk of several major diseases, including breast cancer.
"We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000-8,000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases -- breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes," study co-author Dr. Cedric Garland, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego, said in a university news release.
Garland admitted that he was surprised that the levels required
were so much higher than the 400 IU a day needed to vanquish
rickets in the 20th century.
Vitamin D supplements often come in pills or capsules containing
1,000 or 2,000 international units. But 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day is
still much lower than the range considered safe by the National
Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, the researchers
The study -- which also involved the Creighton University School
of Medicine in Omaha -- was based on a survey of several thousand
people who took supplements ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 IU per
day. The volunteers also underwent blood tests to determine the
levels of vitamin D metabolites circulating in their blood.
Some studies suggest that only 10 percent of people in the
United States have the appropriate level of the vitamin D-related
form in their blood to prevent disease linked to a deficiency of
the vitamin. These people tend to work outdoors, where their
vitamin D levels are boosted through sun exposure.
Last year, a National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine
(IOM) committee announced that 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D appears
safe for adults and kids aged 9 and up.
The IOM's recommended minimum daily level is 600 IU, however,
and the Institute noted there were preliminary signals that there
might be some harms associated with consuming high levels of
vitamin D daily, even at amounts under the recommended upper safe
Garland and his colleagues suggested that 4,000 IU a day is a
"Now that the results of this study are in, it will become common for almost every adult to take 4000 IU/day," Garland predicted in the news release. "This is comfortably under the 10,000 IU/day that the IOM Committee Report considers as the lower limit of risk, and the benefits are substantial."
The findings appear in the journal
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