Naomi Ruiz Vitamin D Paper Dear Grandfather, After doing extensive research on the extremely controversial and confusing topic of how much vitamin D a person needs I have become much more knowledgeable on the subject. Allow me to enlighten you by first explaining exactly what vitamins are and what they do for your body. According to the book Vitamins, vitamins are a group of organic compounds which are essential in very small amounts for the normal functioning of the body (Ball 2004).

In the article Vitamins and Minerals, it stated that vitamins are essential because they stabilize normal growth, metabolism, health, and help make enzymes and hormones (Pressman, Buff 2007). As for vitamin D it is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be produced by the body with the assistance of the sun, which is why most researchers classify it as a hormone instead of a vitamin. According to The Nutritionist, Vitamin Ds main functions in the body are calcium balance, normal cell development, and immunity (Wildman, 2004).

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It is also crucial for the development of bone, teeth, and muscles (Norton, 2007). The best level of vitamin D is so uncertain because there have been many controversial and inconsistent scientific studies over the years in determining the right amount. According to an article in Nature, Studies on recommended amounts by IOM have been said to be not standardized and consisted of poor data (Maxmen 2011).

Although scientists are unsure about the exact amount of Vitamin D needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they are certain that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to many dangerous disorders such as, rickets, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, chronic back pain, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (Diamond 2011). In the article The Vitamin D-lemma, by Amy Maxmen, Michael Amling, a bone expert in Germany, performed a study in which he measured bone quality and blood levels of vitamin D in the bodies of 675 people who had died in good health (Maxmen 2011).

He concluded that the 75 nmol/L would be an ideal level for the general population (Maxmen 2011). Amling was one of the many critics who criticized the IOM’s mandate to set levels of vitamin D intake to protect most people by claiming that the IOM had made a mathematical error by dividing the 7 people with weak bones and levels above 50 nmol/L by all 675 people. Amling believed that the IOM should have divided 7 by the 82 people with levels above 50 nmol/L. I agree with Amling in that the IOM did in fact make a mathematical error because in order to calculate the ideal amount of vitamin D needed for people the IOM should have only taken the number of people with weak bones and divided it by the number of people with strong bones not the entire 675 people.

By dividing the 7 people with weak bones and levels above 50 nmol/L by all 675 you would calculate 50 nmol/L as a sufficient amount of vitamin D intake for the general popluation but by correctly dividing the 7 people with weak bones by 82 people with strong bones you would calculate a 75 nmol/L to be the ideal level.

Therefor the IOM’s calculation is incorrect, individuals with weak bones would not receive the ideal amount of vitamin D to be beneficial. As for my personal advice for you Grandfather, I suggest an intake of 800 IUs of vitamin D per day to maintain your health. After reading numerous of articles and websites I have come to this suggestion because in order for men over the age of 71 to reach a serum 25OHD level of 75 nmol/L 800 to 1000 IU/day is recommended by the IOM, ScienceDaily, and many other prestigious researchers (Wildman 2011).

In order for you to reach the ideal level of vitamin D, I also recommend incorporated foods high in vitamin D into your diet, getting at least 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week, and taking vitamin D supplements. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D include salmon, sardines, tuna, eggs, and other fortified foods such as milk, cheese, cereals, and margarine (Ball 2004). In addition to getting exposure to sun and eating foods rich in vitamin D, taking a supplement of 400-500 IUs a day would be beneficial in maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D.

If I were in charge of a vitamin D study my approach would be to first compile an abundant amount of people all over the world, about 800, from ages 10 to 80. I would secondly give a questioner to each person asking questions such as how often they eat certain foods in a week, how often they are in sunlight in a week, if they take any medication or supplements, and how many hours of exercise they do in a week.

I would then give each a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, which is the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in the body. After gathering each person’s results I wold then plot their vitamin D levels and age on a plot chart to visualize the results. After determining which individuals had low levels of vitamin D I would then give each age group with weak bones a different amount of IUs ranging from 400 to 1000. After six months I would then give each individual a second 25-hydroxyvitamin D test and plot each result.

Afterwards, compare the results of different levels of IUs and the effects on the individuals. In doing so I would hope to determine the most beneficial amount of IUs needed to improve an individuals vitamin D level. Now that I have explained the function of vitamin D, how controversial the ideal levels are, and how I would approach a vitamin D study I hope you much more informed Grandfather and will take my suggestion as a knowledgeable one. Let me know your results!