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At Last, a Ray of Sunshine!

Filed Under: Vitamins and Minerals at 8:45 pm | By: Jacob Grail, Contributing Editor

This is one of those unbelievable-but-true facts: For many decades before the fall of communism, all the children in East Germany were given 600,000 International Units of vitamin D every three months of their life until they turned 18 months of age. By this time of their lives, they had already taken more than 3 million IU of vitamin D! Guess what, none of these children experienced Vitamin D toxicity or any of the harmful effects that an “overdose” may cause. Why then, at present, a mere fraction of this amount of vitamin D is considered possibly harmful?

John Cannell, a renowned researcher and vitamin D advocate, shares his interesting observation on where we are going wrong, in his article “the difference between two normals.” He explains the method by which scientists actually determine the maximum amount of any nutrient that we can safely consume. For example, to calculate how much of vitamin D is safe for children, they take the average levels of this “sunshine vitamin” found in a random group of children, who they consider as “normal.” Human bodies naturally make vitamin D on exposure to sunlight, hence the name “sunshine vitamin.” John Cannell rightfully says that the children of this generation are the “indoor kids.” Instead of playing outside in the sun, they are mostly inside, playing video games. Our children, in all likelihood, are not making enough of the vitamin. That is, they are vitamin D deficient. When scientists take the vitamin levels in these very children to calculate “the normal,” they go wrong — completely!

The years of campaigning, by John Cannell and the other vitamin D proponents, seems to be paying off, finally. Gavin Giovannoni tells us about some movement upwards on the RDA of vitamin D in Europe. According to the article, EFSA’s NDA Panel recently revised the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and the tolerable safe limits (ULs) of Vitamin D, for all age groups.

The new safe limits are 4000 IU per day for everyone aged 11 and above, 2000 IU per day for children of ages 1-10 years, and 1000 I.U for infants aged less than one year. Vitamin D researchers as well as the results of the study carried out by the NDA panel, both support much higher levels as safe; however, keeping “uncertainties” under consideration, the Panel has decided on these levels. Even so, we can be optimistic for a better, healthier future. Finally, Europeans can see the new “ray of sunshine” coming through to them.

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