Higher intake of vitamin D could cut by half the risk of cancer and several diseases
It takes at least 4,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D to reduce the risk of cancer and other conditions including breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha found that markedly higher intake than had been previously thought — at 4,000 to 8,000 IU for adults — is needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D that can prevent or cut by about half the incidence of cancer and other major diseases. These levels are significantly above the 400 IU traditionally prescribed to fight rickets (soft and weak bones) in the last decade.
The study was taken from a survey of 3,667 participants who were taking vitamin D supplements in the range of 1,000 to 10,000 IU/day. Results showed that no intakes of 10,000 IU or lower produced toxic levels of vitamin D in the blood.
Lead author Cedric Garland from the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center said that,
“Most scientists who are actively working with vitamin D now believe that 40 to 60 ng/ml is the appropriate target concentration of 25-vitamin D in the blood for preventing the major vitamin D-deficiency related diseases.” He believes that with the results of the study, it will become common for almost every adult to take 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D.
“This is comfortably under the 10,000 IU/day that the IOM Committee Report considers as the lower limit of risk, and the benefits are substantial.” He added that people who may have contraindications should discuss their vitamin D needs with their family doctor.
The finding, published in the journal Anticancer Research, came in following the release by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the new dietary values for vitamin D intake. The IOM committee identified 4,000 IU per day as the upper level intake for adults and children aged 9 years and older. The committee set the recommended minimum daily intake at daily 600 IU/day.