Why Governments Do not Increase their Recommendation for Vitamin D
A very interesting article appeared recently in the Financial Times.
The article interviewed Proffesor Reinhold Vieth, a prominent professor at the University of Toronto and one of the major researchers who publishes articles on Vitamin D. In this article, Dr Vieth discussed his frustration that governments are not recommending a higher dose of vitamin D for all their citizens.
This article clearly discusses the three main reasons that higher dose vitamin D is not being recommended by governments..
1) The research that exists is primarily as I have pointed out epidemiological and not the classical double-blind crossover placebo type of study that is required to get the majority of medical organizations to recognize its importance.
2) Lack of money. Most new scientific discoveries are funded by drug company money. No drug company will fund research on Vitamin D because they cannot take a patent out on this naturally occurring substance. Therefore they will not fund research.
3) Most research is done in the "pharmaceutical drug company model". In this type of study, sick people are given a drug to see if it makes a difference to their health condition over time. In the case of vitamin D, we are looking to prove that taken over many years it will PREVENT disease. It takes a long time and a large group of people to look at healthy people and follow what develops in their lives. This is much more expensive and much more time-consuming, than a 6 to 12 month drug trial.
There is a recent announcement of the $20 million study by Harvard Medical School that is funded by the National Institutes of Health. This research will look at vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids and their ability to prevent chronic disease in adults over age 60. If these results are good it might make a case for raising the dose of vitamin D for people over age 60. But it is doubtful that it would convince governmental agencies to raise the dose of vitamin D for younger people.
As all of my readers know, I've been advocating, consistent with the medical literature 2000 IU of vitamin D per day for otherwise healthy adults. I was hoping that our Institute of Medicine would soon be raising the recommendations for Vitamin D for the whole country. After reading this article, it looks unlikely that that recommendation will be forthcoming. This article personally helped me to understand why the government and conventional medical organizations are dragging their heels on increasing the recommendation for vitamin D dose.
In the meantime, you can recommend higher doses of vitamin D to your family and friends. As I have often said, even if this dose of D is found at a future time not to have prevented disease (this is unlikely), you would still in no way be hurting yourself with this inexpensive supplement.
Please let me know your thoughts? Are you recommending vitamin D to your family and friends? Are you talking in your community? Do you have any recommendations to help me spread the word?