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Food & Health : Laws & Politics Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

New RDA for vitamin D may not mean too much
By John Cannell, MD
Jan 20, 2009 - 4:54:47 PM

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January 20, 2009

The Institute 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.

http://www8.nationalacademies. org/cp/committeeview.aspx?key= 49031

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.

Do 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 date:

"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 scientifically indefensible."

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 future? 

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 that.

http://www8.nationalacademies. org/cp/FeedBack.aspx?key= 49031&type=committee

And send an email to your Congressperson and Senator while you are at it. jhoffman/congress-email.html

John Cannell, MD

The Vitamin D Council

http://www.vitamindcouncil. org/

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.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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