Reuters (4/27, Boerner) reported that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study in the journal Diabetes Care. For five years, the researchers followed more than 5,000 individuals and found that those with consistently lower-than-average vitamin D levels had a 57% percent increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people whose average vitamin D levels were within the recommended range. Adults need about 600 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain blood-circulating levels, according to Institute of Medicine recommendations.
ABC World News (4/11, story 8, 1:55, Stephanopoulos) reported that vitamin D may help protect women against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study .
MedPage Today (4/11, Neale) reported that “looked at data from the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), which was conducted under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. In CAREDS, age-related macular degeneration status was assessed an average of six years after serum samples were analyzed for 25(OH)D status.” The new analysis, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, “included 1,313 women ages 50 to 79.”
WebMD (4/11, Hendrick) reported that “in the study, researchers say women under 75 who got the most vitamin D had a 59% decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, compared to women with the lowest vitamin D intake.” The “researchers also found that the women who had a blood vitamin D level higher than 38 nmol/L had a 48% decreased risk of early” AMD. “A blood level of 50 nmol/L is considered sufficient, according to the Institute of Medicine.”
The UK’s Daily Mail (4/12) reports that “these results did not apply to vitamin D absorbed via sunlight — the association was only seen with women who consumed the vitamin in foods and supplements.” The “researchers found that time spent in the sun did not affect risk levels, even though the most important source of vitamin D is it generation in the skin as a reaction to sunlight.” The UK’s Telegraph (4/12, Beckford) also covers the story.
USA Today (3/31, Marcus) reports, “About one third of Americans are not getting enough vitamin D,” according to a National Center for Health Statistics data brief released March 30 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report “parallels what many other studies have suggested in recent years: that a large chunk of the population is at risk for low vitamin D levels.” Although approximately “two-thirds had sufficient levels…about a third were in ranges suggesting risk of either inadequate or deficient levels, says report author Anne Looker, a research scientist with the CDC.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times (3/30, Roan) “Booster Shots” blog reported that “1% had blood levels that were too high (greater than 125 nmol/L), putting them at risk of health problems.”
The Washington Post (3/30, Stein) “The Check Up” blog reported that recently, the Institute of Medicine “released new recommendations for how much vitamin D people should be getting on a regular basis.” In spite of “mounting pressure to urge many Americans to sharply boost their vitamin D levels, they did not advocate a huge increase.” In fact, “a 14-member expert committee concluded that most Americans and Canadians up to age 70 need no more than 600 international units of vitamin D per day.”
“The analysis showed that the risk for vitamin D deficiency differed by age, sex and race or ethnicity,” HealthDay (3/30, Preidt) reported.
WebMD (3/30, Mann) reported that people “who were at the lowest risk for vitamin D deficiency or inadequacy were children, males, non-Hispanic whites, and women who were pregnant or breastfeeding,” with the “risk of deficiency…lowest in children ages one to eight and increased with age until about age 30, the study showed.” WebMD also noted, “The analysis was based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys that includes about 5,000 Americans each year.”