Reuters Health is reporting a small study showing adolescents can safely take, and may need, vitamin D doses that are up to 10 times what is generally recommended. They found that the high vitamin dose caused no toxic effects.
The dose used in the study was 10 times the official “adequate intake” level set for vitamin D in the United States — 200 IU per day for children and adults younger than 50.
But some researchers have argued that the 200 IU standard is too low. This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that children and teenagers get 400 IU of vitamin D each day.
Readers of this blog know that vitamin D has been the subject of much research of late, including one study published earlier this month showing that 40 percent of U.S. babies and toddlers may have inadequate blood levels of the vitamin.
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bone development and maintenance, and it also plays a role in nerve, muscle and immune system function. Some studies have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of type 1 diabetes in children and, in adults, heart disease and certain cancers.
So, I join those recommending a vitamin D supplement for all children and adults.