Half Worldwide Don't Get Enough Vitamin D

RIVERSIDE, Calif., July 17 (UPI) — Half the people in North America and Western Europe get insufficient amounts of vitamin D, an international expert on vitamin D says.

“Elsewhere, it is worse, given that two-thirds of the people are vitamin D-insufficient or deficient,” Anthony Norman, a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside, says in a statement. “It is clear that merely eating vitamin D-rich foods is not adequate to solve the problem for most adults.”

Currently in the United States, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 200 international units for people age 50 and older, 400 IU for those ages 51-70 and 600 IU for people age 70 and older.

“There is a wide consensus among scientists that the relative daily intake of vitamin D should be increased to 2,000 to 4,000 IU for most adults,” Norman says. “Already, several studies have reported substantial reductions in incidence of breast cancer, colon cancer and type 1 diabetes in association with adequate intake of vitamin D, the positive effect generally occurring within five years of initiation of adequate vitamin D intake.”

However, he adds that more research is needed.

In the July 2010 issue of Endocrine Today, a monthly newspaper about diabetes and endocrine disorders, Norman says there is irrefutable evidence that receptors in the immune, pancreas, heart-cardiovascular, muscle and brain systems in the body generate biological responses to the steroid hormone form of vitamin D.

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