January 20, 2009
of Medicine (IOM) has quietly announced composition of the next vitamin
D Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), a committee that will set recommendations
for both adequate intake and upper limits well into the next decade. The
IOM allows public comments for the next nine days; see the bottom of the hyperlink
below. Please take time to comment.
Unfortunately, the scientists
who have led
the vitamin D revolution
for the last ten years are all excluded. The debarred
include, but are not limited to, Drs. Vieth, Giovannucci, Garland, Hollis, Heaney, Wagner, Norman,
Hankinson, Whitting, Hanley, etc.. For example, Dr Hollis
actually wrote and received an FDA Investigational New Drug ( IND) for
vitamin D in 2003 that has allowed both him and many other investigators to perform vitamin
D studies with doses well above the current upper limits.
Why is he not on the committee? Dr. Vieth has performed
many of the recent upper limit pharmacological dosing studies in humans. Why
did the IOM exclude Dr. Vieth?
Has the chair
of the new committee, Dr. Catherine Ross, ever
published a paper on vitamin D? There is a difference
between vitamin D and A. As she is the editor of the
Journal of Nutrition, I can only hope she understands the vitamin D revolution. Professor Patsy
Brannon has researched nutritional genes affecting the placenta and
fetus. Let's hope she understands vitamin D's role in brain development. The
brains of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of fetuses - developing as you
read this - are suffering the devastative damages of gestational
vitamin D deficiency.
Where are the investigators who have done the mass of the current work on vitamin D? Certainly,
Drs. Aloia and Gallagher are excellent choices but what about the
other members; do they understand the paradigm shift? In 2003, was Dr.
Abrams a force behind the American Academy of Pediatrics idiotic reduction of the infant
vitamin D requirement from 400 IU to 200 IU? Was
he against the recent increase back to 400 IU last year? If so, history may
record Dr. Abrams as one of the physicians responsible for the current childhood epidemics
of autism, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Kovacs or Dr. Gallo have any experience in assessing
dietary levels of vitamin D? How are these scientists going to represent
obstetrics and pediatrics in a manner that protects
pregnant women and children from the dangers of vitamin D
deficiency? Dr. Jones is a excellent biochemist but again, has he published original data
on vitamin D? Has Dr. Rosen? I hope Dr. Manson knows more
about vitamin D than her studies with the Women's Health Initiative indicate,
incredibly expensive studies that simply showed meaningless doses of vitamin
D are meaningless.
Many of the excluded experts recently
criticized the IOM using the strongest language to
"Astonishingly, the FNB says
that the adequate intake for vitamin D is the same for the largest pregnant
woman as for the smallest premature infant (200 IU/d) frightening advice for
pregnant women, in light of animal studies that showed that gestational vitamin
D deficiency causes both neuronal injury and autistic-like gross morphological
changes in the brains of offspring. Furthermore, the FNB s upper
limits for a 1-year-old, 9-kg (20 lb) child and a 30-year-old, 135-kg (300 lb)
adult are also the same 2,000 IU/d and are based on their selective focus on
one flawed study; ample new data from well-conducted clinical trials support
raising the upper limit to 10,000 IU. The 1997 FNB recommendations offend the
most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology, leading us to conclude
that the current official guidelines and limitations for vitamin D intakes are
Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Willett W, Zasloff M,
Hathcock JN, White JH, Tanumihardjo SA, Larson-Meyer DE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA,
Lamberg-Allardt CJ, Lappe JM, Norman AW, Zittermann A, Whiting SJ, Grant WB,
Hollis BW, Giovannucci E. Cod liver oil, vitamin A toxicity, frequent
respiratory infections, and the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Ann Otol Rhinol
Laryngol. 2008 Nov;117(11):864-70.
Are these statements the reason the IOM exluded these vitamin
D experts? Perhaps the IOM dislikes criticism more than it loves candor? When the
new FNB vitamin D recommendations come out next summer, will those recommendations continue
to "offend the most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology?"
If any member of the new board disagrees with the consensus of
the board, will that scientist
be allowed to produce a minority
opinion without risking the loss of research grants in the
Please take time to tell the IOM your thoughts. Tell them about your personal experience with vitamin
D; how vitamin D affected your life and your health and the dose needed to do
And send an email to your
Congressperson and Senator while you are at it.
John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D
Originally published in the Vitamin D Council Newsletter
Editor's note: Thank Dr. Cannell for the news. This may help some consumers to learn how the government recommendations are made. And in a sense it indicates that the recommended daily allowances for dietary supplements may not be the best for consumers' health.