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Experts convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued the Vitamin D and Calcium 2010 Report setting new recommendations on vitamin D intake for Americans and Canadians. Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were set at 600 IU for people aged 1 to 70 and at 800 IU for those aged 71 and older. For infants up to 1 year old, an Adequate Intake (AI) level of 400 IU was recommended.
These recommendations represent large increases over the prior ones (which were 200 IU for people aged 1 to 50, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70, and 600 IU for people aged 71 and older). For children, other than newborns, the new recommendations also surpass the 2008 recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that recommended 400 IU per day for newborns through teenagers.
While some studies suggest that even higher intakes of vitamin D may be useful for a range of purposes, the IOM considered the data behind those suggestions preliminary.
From reviewing national surveys of blood levels, the IOM concluded that the majority of Americans and Canadians are getting enough vitamin D (as well as calcium), although elderly individuals are more likely to fall short on both nutrients and some adolescent girls may not get quite enough calcium. The IOM determined an individual’s vitamin D level is sufficient when their blood levels are at or above 20 ng/mL, although some experts, including the Vitamin D Council, don’t agree with this figure.
The IOM expressed concern about excessive intake of vitamin D but raised the Upper Tolerable Intake Levels (ULs) (above which there is a risk of harm) for vitamin D. The UL for individuals aged 9 and older was set at 4,000 IU, up from 2,000 IU previously. The IOM noted that some studies showed an increase in adverse events (including overall mortality, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, fractures and falls) at vitamin D blood levels (i.e., 25-(OH)D levels) ranging from about 30 ng/mL to 48 ng/mL (75 to 120 nmol/L).
Vitamin D Council. How do I get the vitamin D my body needs?