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Published April 17, 2020 | Version v1.0.0
Masters Thesis Open

Vitamin D, age, sex and skin pigmentation: An analysisof how recommendations and standards regarding vitamin D need more comprehensive research for policy


Vitamin D has long been implicated in health research with its etiology hypothesized in many diseases. As recently as 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), appointed a committee of 14 scientists to re-evaluate the 1994 dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D as ample new research had been conducted to warrant an evaluation of vitamin D supplementation. The efforts were supported by the United States and Canadian governments. Research was evaluated and new recommendations were established. However, the committee of scientists, supported by IOM staff, continues to use the same evaluation methods for vitamin D as they do for all vitamin dietary recommendations, but vitamin D is not a vitamin in the traditional sense. It is a pro-hormone. Vitamin D is not gained solely from diet. It is more readily produced via the conversion of cholesterol to vitamin D through sun exposure. Therefore, traditional methods of evaluation to deduce dietary intakes may not apply for a vitamin that is environmentally influenced. While many scientists are adamant that the recommendation levels for vitamin D should be higher and not all population sub-group dietary needs are being addressed, new methods of evaluation may be what are warranted. It is vital that researchers evaluate novel ways to understand vitamin D and the implications for nutritional policy in the form of dietary recommendations to create more comprehensive recommendation for vitamin D dietary needs. Currently, dietary recommendations are created for life-stage (age range) and sex, but more comprehensive listings by latitude, skin pigmentation, and adiposity might provide for the needs of more individuals.


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March 31, 2023
March 31, 2023