We'll have to wait and see about vitamin D

We'll have to wait and see about vitamin D

It's the time of year for bee swarms, especially those buzzing about what the recommendation for vitamin D will be when new dietary guidelines are released in October.

Brian Wansink, former executive director of the US Department of Agriculture agency in charge of dietary guidelines, knows how these decisions are made. And, as the author of Mindless Eating and a professor at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, he has some insight into what people will put into their mouths and why.

"What's been discovered in the last few years is that there's a powerful interaction between vitamin D and the uptake of other vitamins and minerals," he said.

Some advocates say vitamin D's positive effects don't manifest themselves until way beyond the 2,000 I.U. level. It's a water-soluble vitamin, so what's the downside of pegging the level high?

"There is some concern about what might happen if someone takes a whole lot; there might be some unseen collateral issues," Wansink said.

"There's a second issue, and that is a behavioural issue," he said. "One fear is if the new recommended dosage is way too off the charts of what somebody's used to it will get screened out and ignored."

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