IOF reiterates importance of vitamin D use by adults

NYON, Switzerland The International Osteoporosis Foundation on Monday released a new position statement around the importance of supplementing with vitamin D for older adults.

The objective of IOF's statement -- published in the leading bone journal Osteoporosis International -- was to use and examine all available evidence to support new recommendations for optimal vitamin D status.

"Global vitamin D status shows widespread insufficiency and deficiency,” stated lead author Bess Dawson-Hughes of Tufts University. “This high prevalence of suboptimal levels raises the possibility that many falls and fractures can be prevented with vitamin D supplementation. This is a relatively easy public health measure that could have significant positive effects on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures."

The best available clinical indicator of vitamin D status is serum 25OHD — vitamin D intake and effective sun exposure are the major determinants of this level. Serum 25OHD levels decline with aging.

The estimated average vitamin D requirement of older adults to reach a serum 25OHD level of 75 nmol/l (30ng/ml) is 20 to 25 µg/day (800 to 1000 IU/day). Intakes may need to increase to as much as 50 µg (2000IU) per day in individuals who are obese, have osteoporosis, limited sun exposure (in other words are housebound or institutionalised), or have malabsorption issues.

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