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New Vitamin D Recommendations: Skeptics Remain

Vitamin D: Is less now best? Not everyone agrees.
Vitamin D: Is less now best? Not everyone agrees.

According to NPR: "After two years of study and debate, the panel says children and most adults need 600 international units of vitamin D a day. People older than 70 need 800. That's more than the previous targets, set 13 years ago, of 200 units a day for young adults, 400 for those older than 50."

But some skeptics remain. Later in the piece, NPR quotes one vitamin D expert who says he won't change his advice to patients:.

Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University, who discovered the active form of vitamin D 40 years ago and is a leading proponent of high doses, isn't backing away from his conviction that most people need at least 3,000 units a day. That's what he takes, and what he recommends to his patients. Sometimes he prescribes 50,000 units of vitamin D a week.

"My recommendation is very simple," Holick says. "I don't see any downside to increasing your vitamin D intake. When I've been recommending for the past decade that people take more than the [officially recommended] 200 units, there was a lot of skepticism. Now they're recommending three times what we recommended in 1997.

"I suspect a decade from now that they'll be recommending another three- or fourfold higher increase," Holick predicts.

I emailed Dr. Holick to ask more about why he remains so certain about the health benefits of vitamin D given the evidence. I'll let you know what he says.

This program aired on November 30, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Rachel Zimmerman Twitter Health Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for Bostonomix.

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