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Researchers Increase Vitamin D RDA

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An increase in the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D has been called for in new guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine.

The new recommendations call for 699 international units (IU) daily, with 800 IU recommended for the elderly. The researchers note, however, that most Americans receive the necessary amount of vitamin D already and that taking more is not necessarily better.

Guideline researcher Clifford J. Rosen, MD, senior scientist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, says: "We believe that taking in amounts larger than 600 to 800 IU a day has no extra benefit for bones."

The vitamin, which helps the body absorb calcium and strengthens bones, has also been linked to reduced heart disease, diabetes and cancer risks, though further investigation is needed.

The guidelines also raised the recommended daily allowance of calcium.

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