Vitamin D Recommendations Updated
Posted: September 19, 2011
Recently the Institute of Medicine committee announced new recommendations for daily intake values for Vitamin D. While the recommendation for infants to age 1 remains the same [400 International Units (IU) daily], updated recommendations include:
* Children age 1 to 18 years: 600 IU (an increase from 400 IU)
* Adults age 19 to 70: 600 IU (an increase from 200 IU)
* Adults age 71+: 800 IU (an increase from 600 IU)
About 90% of Vitamin D is produced within the body as a result of skin coming into contact with direct sunlight. About 10 percent is typically derived from food sources, such as yeasts and plants; oily fish, such as mackerel, tuna, sardines, and salmon; cod-liver oil; beef liver; egg yolks; and Vitamin D-fortified foods such as milk, butter, some ready-to-eat cereals, bread, yogurt and orange juice. The winter weather in Northeastern Pennsylvania can make meeting the minimal requirements for sunlight challenging so try to get vitamin D from food and supplements.
You should consider having your vitamin D level checked by a health care professional if you are taking corticosteroids, weight loss and/or cholesterol lowering medications which may inhibit or reduce the absorption of vitamin D. Others who may have difficulty getting enough vitamin D and should be monitored for adequate intake include:
*People with a milk allergy or who rarely drink milk
*People with limited sun exposure
*People with dark skin
It’s important to note that getting too much vitamin D can be harmful. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults stay below 4,000 IU (from food and supplements) per day. Excessive sun exposure doesn't cause vitamin D poisoning because the body limits the amount of this vitamin it produces.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lackawanna County.