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Taking Vitamin D supplements because the Internet told you it was good for you? Well, you may want to back off a bit, because, uh, the Internet is now telling you it may be bad for you. (Sorry about that.)
Following a two-year study, The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has announced that children and most adults need only 600 international units of vitamin D per day, which for most people can be easily obtained from sunlight exposure and a proper diet. Advocates for higher doses of vitamin D (as much as 4,000 daily units) believe greater intake can help to prevent cancer, diabetes and other diseases – a claim the Institute of Medicine rejects.
“The evidence was inconsistent and inconclusive as to a benefit of vitamin D in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and many other health outcomes beyond bone health,” says IOM panel member Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. IOM experts caution that large vitamin D doses may actually carry risks, such as higher levels of pancreatic and esophageal cancer and excess calcium deposits in the arteries.
You can learn more about the study at the NPR website.