Vitamin D Supplementation Widely Recommended

Frequent deficiency in all ages should be treated with vitamin D2 or vitamin D3

THURSDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Depending on age and clinic circumstances, vitamin D supplementation at suggested daily-intake and tolerable upper-limit levels is widely recommended, particularly for those individuals at risk of deficiency, according to the Endocrine Society's guidelines published online June 6 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, and other experts comprised a Task Force that reviewed the literature to provide guidelines to clinicians for the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency, with emphasis on patients at risk of deficiency. The recommendations were reviewed successively by the Endocrine Society's Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee, Clinical Affairs Core Committee, and co-sponsoring associations, and were reviewed by members after being posted on their Web site. At each stage, changes were incorporated based on the comments received.

The researchers identified frequent vitamin D deficiency in all age groups and therefore recommend vitamin D supplementation at suggested daily-intake and tolerable upper-limit levels, depending on age and clinical circumstances, particularly for those at risk of deficiency. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, measured by a reliable assay, should be used as the initial diagnostic test in patients at risk for deficiency. Vitamin D-deficient patients should be treated with either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. Due to lack of sufficient evidence, at present it is not recommended to screen individuals who are not at risk for deficiency or to prescribe vitamin D to attain the noncalcemic benefit for cardiovascular protection.

"The Task Force has confidence that persons who receive care according to the strong recommendations will derive, on average, more good than harm," the authors write.

Several members of the Task Force disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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