Vitamin D: Needs And Recommendations

WHO recommends a daily intake of 5 mg vitamin D (≥ 200 international units (IU)) for children and adults up to 50 years (including pregnant and lactating women), 10 mg (400 IU) from 51 to 65 years and 15 mg (600 IU) for people over 65 years. National recommendations for the vitamin D diet vary across Europe, but tend to be higher. In comparison, the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends vitamin D intake of 15 mg per day for people aged 1-70 years and 20 mg per day for those over 70 years. These recently published IOM recommendations reflect a significant increase from the previous edition: a threefold increase in the recommended amount of vitamin D intake for children and a 1,

Vitamin D. Needs and recommendations

The maximum levels of food safety established by the Scientific Committee on Food are 25 mg of vitamin D per day for infants and children up to 10 years of age and 50 micrograms per day for the rest of the population. In comparison, IOM has defined vitamin D daily safe levels of maximum intake of 25 mg for infants from 0-6 months, 37.5 mg for children from 6 to 12 months, 62.5 mg for children 75 mg for children aged 4-8 years and 100 mg for people 9 years of age and older.

Most Europeans do not meet dietary recommendations for vitamin D 2 , for people struggling to achieve adequate levels of vitamin D through exposure to sun and diet, vitamin D supplements, or vitamin D May be an option. Recent research has shown, for example, that fortified orange juice may be an economical way to help people get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D food supplementation programs, aimed at reaching a significant part of the population, have been successfully implemented in several countries (such as fortification of liquid milk in Canada). This has been demonstrated by the analysis of vitamin D status of populations in these countries. Food fortification (mandatory and voluntary) needs to be analyzed for its impact on total intake. Mandatory vitamin D supplementation programs have advantages over voluntary programs, where there may be wide variation in nutrient fortification even within the same food brand and category (e.g. breakfast cereals). For these reasons, the advice of the institutions, to ensure the adequacy of vitamin D intake,

Regardless of the approach, it should be borne in mind that the total daily intake should not exceed the maximum age-related safety level of 25 and 50 mg (1,000 and 2,000 IU) per day as established by the European Scientific Committee. Clinical symptoms of excess vitamin D (hypervitaminosis D) include anorexia, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, disorientation, vomiting, and constipation.

Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health but is also necessary for muscle function and balance; a low intake can lead to an increased risk of fractures. In addition to promoting stronger bones, adequate levels of vitamin D reduce the risk of fractures from falls by 20-30%, a major problem in older adults. Other areas in which vitamin D may be beneficial are cognitive impairment in the elderly, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and certain cancers (breast, colorectal, and prostate). However, the IOM report warns that more research is needed to confirm these early connections.

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