ARTICLE: Trends in Use of High-Dose Vitamin D Supplements Exceeding 1000 or 4000 International Units Daily, 1999-2014

AUTHORS: Mary R. Rooney, Lisa Harnack, Erin D. Michos, Rachel P. Ogilvie, Christopher T. Sempos, Pamela L. Lutsey

JOURNAL: JAMA. 2017 Jun 20;317(23):2448-2450. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.4392.

Since 2000, there has been an increase in research on possible health benefits of vitamin D. However, a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM; now the National Academy of Medicine) report concluded that vitamin D was beneficial for bone health but evidence was insufficient for extraskeletal health.1 Several large-scale trials are ongoing to evaluate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on extraskeletal outcomes.2 The IOM report noted possible harm (eg, hypercalcemia, soft tissue or vascular calcification) for intakes above the tolerable upper limit, which is the highest level of intake likely to pose no risk of adverse effects for most adults.1

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU/d for adults 70 years or younger and 800 IU/d for those older than 70 years. The tolerable upper limit is 4000 IU/d; beyond this level risk of toxic effects increases.1 Multivitamins typically contain about 400 IU/d; consumption of 1000 IU or more daily likely indicates intentionally seeking supplemental vitamin D.

We assessed trends in daily supplemental vitamin D intake of 1000 IU or more and 4000 IU or more from 1999 through 2014.

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