Even More on Vitamin D

November 11, 2008

I subscribe to an email newsletter put out by the Vitamin D Council.  Today I received the following, which I think is worth passing on:

Dangers of cod liver

November 11, 2008

Today, sixteen well-known experts,
including professors Walter Willett and Ed Giovannucci of Harvard, Dr. John
Hathcock of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, and Professor Reinhold Vieth
of the University of Toronto, published an unprecedented warning about the
ingestion of cod liver oil and resultant vitamin A toxicity.

Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin A Toxicity, Frequent Respiratory
Infections, and the Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic
John J. Cannell, MD;
Reinhold Vieth, MS, PhD; Walter Willett, MD, DrPH; Michael Zasloff, MD, PhD;
John N. Hathcock, MSc, PhD; John H. White, PhD; Sherry A. Tanumihardjo, MSc,
PhD; D. Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD; Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, MPH; Christel
J. Lamberg-Allardt, PhD; Joan M. Lappe, PhD, RN; Anthony W. Norman, PhD; Armin
Zittermann, PhD; Susan J. Whiting, MSc, PhD; William B. Grant, PhD; Bruce W.
Hollis, PhD; Edward Giovannucci, MD

Using the strongest language published
to date, the group condemned the current (1997) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB)
recommendations for vitamin D, stating “The 1997 FNB recommendations offend the
most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology, leading us to conclude
that the current official guidelines and limitations for vitamin D intakes are
scientifically indefensible.”
In addition to warning about the
consumption of cod liver oil, the above experts recommended healthy children
take 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D for every 25 pounds of body weight.  In some
cases this is more than ten times current recommendations for children by the
government and professional organizations.
Finally, the group recommended that “children with chronic
illness such as autism, diabetes, and/or frequent infections” may need to take
even more vitamin D, “doses adequate to maintain their 25-hydroxy vitamin D in
the mid normal of the reference range (65 ng/ml) – and should be so supplemented
year around.”  Less than one percent of American children currently have such
I’m sorry I can’t send you this paper.  Even though I
wrote it, I had to pay to download it and agree not to reproduce
John Cannell, MD