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CRN Reacts to Institute of Medicine DRI Recommendations for Vitamin D

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- Increased DRI, Step In Right Direction Still Falls Short, CRN Says -

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the dietary supplement industry's leading trade association, today called the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's (IOM) newly released report on the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) levels for vitamin D "a modest step in the right direction that fell short of truly capturing the extensive and positive research that has consistently supported the need for people to significantly raise their vitamin D levels."

The IOM Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium today established new DRIs for vitamin D,  resulting in a conservative increase in the recommended intakes by establishing an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for adults of 400 IU/day and a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults of 600 IU/day (800 IU/day for those aged 71+).  In addition, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)—representing the dose at which there are no known adverse effects, not a recommended daily suggestion—was doubled from 2,000 to 4,000 IU/day for adults.

Today's report, "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D," marks the first time the Committee has evaluated the current science to update the nutritional reference values set in 1997.  

"While an increase in the recommendations for vitamin D will benefit the public overall, such a conservative increase for the nutrient lags behind the mountain of research demonstrating a need for vitamin D intake at levels possibly as high as 2,000 IU/day for adults," according to Andrew Shao, Ph.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. "However, CRN recognizes the challenges associated with the DRI process, and the difficulty in making broad-based recommendations for an entire population.  That is why it is so important for consumers to talk with their doctors or other healthcare professionals, to get their vitamin D levels tested, and determine personalized recommendations that would enable them to increase blood levels of vitamin D as appropriate."

Dr. Shao noted that over the past decade, as the scientific research demonstrated more and more benefits for vitamin D at levels far beyond government's recommendations, there was growing anticipation in the scientific, regulatory and medical community for release of this report.  "The research for vitamin D has been so positive, that the medical community and consumers already have a heightened awareness of the value of this nutrient," said Dr. Shao, "and we've been anxious for the IOM to catch up."  CRN's most recent annual consumer survey on dietary supplements, released this past September, indicated that 27 percent of supplement users take a vitamin D supplement—up 19 percent and 16 percent in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

Large segments of the population have inadequate vitamin D status, according to analyses based on data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES).  Scientific research shows that vitamin D inadequacy has been linked to an increased risk for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other health-related issues and that intake of vitamin D at higher levels may help reduce the risk of these diseases.

CRN's scientists have been among those in the scientific community calling for updated DRIs, most recently having co-authored a benefit-risk assessment of vitamin D supplementation published in Osteoporosis International(1).  CRN, and other scientists, have demonstrated the science would allow for raising the UL for vitamin D to 10,000 IU/day.

CRN noted that the recommendations for calcium changed slightly, with the establishment of an EAR and RDA and slight adjustments to recommendations for infants, children and the elderly. Dr. Shao noted, "based on the current body of science surrounding calcium, this is what we would have expected."  

The Committee was tasked with assessing and incorporating the latest scientific data to establish a set of values for essential nutrients that are aimed at serving as a nutrition guide for developing nutrition policy in the U.S. and Canada.   The Committee was asked to consider chronic disease risk reduction and other health outcomes as well when assessing whether to make adjustments to the old DRIs.  The DRIs are comprised of a set of recommended values, including the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), and the safe Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL).  These recommendations in turn serve as the basis for food and dietary supplement labeling.

(1)  Bischoff-Ferrari H.A., Shao A., Dawson-Hughes B., Hathcock J., Giovannucci E., Willett W.C. Benefit-risk assessment of vitamin D supplementation. Osteoporos Int. 2010 Jul; 21(7):1121-32.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers.  In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 70+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN's Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org.  

SOURCE Council for Responsible Nutrition



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