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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1735S-9S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/80.6.1735S.

Vitamin D requirements: current and future.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Mar;81(3):729.


The requirements for vitamin D were last set in 1997 by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Intakes were assumed to come from diet, and values were based on achievement of adequate vitamin D status and on observed values to prevent seasonal variations in parathyroid hormone concentrations. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were considered the best indicator of vitamin D adequacy, because the production of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is not regulated. Normal ranges were obtained from reference populations, but the values varied widely with age and geographic region. Revised recommendations should take into consideration appropriate functional measures for multiple tissues and disease risks. Vitamin D-calcium interdependencies must be taken into account. Higher intakes of both vitamin D and calcium can reduce bone resorption, and higher concentrations of one nutrient might compensate for insufficiency in the other. Better ways to assess vitamin D (and calcium) inputs are needed. Food composition databases are incomplete for both vitamin D and calcium, especially in this era of food fortification, and are complicated by the poor quality control for vitamin D fortification. Upper levels of vitamin D intake were set at 50 microg/d (2000 IU/d) for all ages. Some individuals would require higher levels than these to achieve serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations for optimal calcium absorption. So much new information on vitamin D and health has been collected since the requirements were set in 1997 that this nutrient is likely the most in need of revised requirements.

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