Vitamin D and Health

OTTAWA - Health Canada is aware of the growing body of evidence on the role of vitamin D in relation to health. Before Health Canada can issue a revised recommendation concerning vitamin D, a comprehensive review that looks at both benefits and safety needs to be undertaken.

Health Canada, along with US federal agencies, will be participating in a conference to be held by the US National Institutes of Health in September 2007 that will serve as a forum to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Vitamin D across all age groups. This forum will help shape the direction the United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) will take in updating the Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D. The IOM’s nutrient standards are used by Health Canada to set policies and standards.

Until this update has been completed, Health Canada continues to recommend that Canadians follow the advice contained in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, which recommends that all Canadians over the age of two consume 500 mL (two cups) of milk every day for adequate vitamin D and in addition encourages everyone over the age of 50 to take a daily supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D. We also urge Canadians to continue to eat well and to be active every day to reduce their risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Health Canada would like to remind Canadians that there are health risks associated with taking too much vitamin D and they should not exceed the Tolerable Upper Intake Level set for adults at 2000IU/day from all sources of vitamin D, including milk and over the counter supplements. If you want more information about vitamin D, speak with your health care professional.

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