A plethora of research about the benefits of vitamin D has been flooding the mainstream news for a while now, and Anthony Norman, professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside, believes government recommendations worldwide for the vitamin need to be updated. He and others believe that most adults need between 2,000 and 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day, an intake level far higher than what is currently suggested.
Vitamin D is implicated in reducing the number of cases of autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and other things. Based on this fact, Norman says that people need more vitamin D than they are currently getting.
“A reduction in the frequency of these diseases would increase the quality and longevity of life and significantly reduce the cost of medical care worldwide,” he explained in an article. “It is high time that worldwide vitamin D nutritional policy, now at a crossroads, reflects current scientific knowledge about the vitamin’s many benefits and develops a sound vision for the future.”
Current U.S. recommendations for vitamin D range from 200 IU to 600 IU depending on a person’s age and health status. But these levels are far too low to obtain the wide range of benefits that vitamin D offers.
Norman and fellow researchers warn that if current recommendations are not updated to reflect all the emerging research, diseases like rickets and osteomalacia — which are easily prevented by adequate vitamin D intake — will continue to occur.
The best way to obtain vitamin D is through daily exposure to natural sunlight, but when this is not possible, safe tanning beds and vitamin D3 supplements can help to achieve optimal levels.