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Diet & Health : Nutrition Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

High doses of vitamin D safe for school children
By Sue Mueller
Sep 1, 2008 - 11:16:12 AM

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MONDAY September 1, 2008 ( -- Vitamin D is important for children's bone health. But there has been a concern about its toxicity at high doses.   A new study released recently has now found high doses of this wonder vitamin D are safe for children, Reuters reported.


Currently the Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 200 IU vitamin D3 for children.   The study showed as much as 2,000 IU per day is safe for children.


In the study, Dr. Ghada E.-Hajj Fuleihan of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon did a long term study and a short term study to determine the safety of vitamin D in children.


For the short term study, they gave 25 school children 2,000 IU vitamin D or a placebo each day for eight weeks and for the long term study, they gave 340 children a placebo, 200 IU per day or 2,000 IU per day for 12 months.


The researchers did not observe any sign of intoxication in any of the children while serum vitamin D increased from 44 to 54 nanograms per milliliter in children given vitamin D 2,000 daily in the short term study.


The high initial level of vitamin D is believed to be associated with the children’s social status and lifestyle, according to the researchers.


The long term supplementation resulted in an increase in vitamin D from 15 to 19 ng/mL in children given 200 IU daily and from 15 to 36 ng/mL in those given 2,000 IU daily.


In adults, the ideal serum level of vitamin D is believed to be 30 ng/mL and any level lower than 5 ng/mL is believed to be deficient.


To increase 1 ng/mL vitamin D in the blood, one needs to take 100 IU of vitamin D3, according to the researchers.


Vitamin D experts have criticized the current recommendations saying the recommended levels are too low to render a protective effect against many diseases including cancer.


The best source of natural vitamin D is oily fish.   Sunshine exposure can get one enough vitamin D, but those who have some health condition may want to consider high doses of vitamin D, which has been found to provide a series of health benefits including cancer prevention.


The results of the current study were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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