New Parliamentary Questions on Vitamin D submitted to the European Parliament
Mr. Jim Higgins, Member of the European Parliament, has submitted a series of questions on the activities of the Commission in relation to Vitamin D and Vitamin D deficiency. The three submitted questions deal respectively with:
1. How the European Commission ensures that the latest scientific research on Vitamin D is incorporated into its evaluation of the economic impact of Vitamin D deficiency, and whether the European Parliament should be involved in the process;
2. Requesting an update on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s progress with regard to the work of the European Micronutrient Recommendation Aligned (EURRECA) project and whether or not EFSA would be drawing on the Vitamin D recommendations to be established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the US;
3. And lastly, how and to what extent could the European Commission support further research into the potential benefits of Vitamin D for heart health, the immune system, and preventing cancer.
If you would like the full text of the questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We will of course provide you with the European Commission’s responses as soon as they become available.
Institute of Medicine Vitamin D Recommendations: an update
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the US National Academy of Sciences, has since 2008 undertaken a study to update the dietary reference intake (DRI) levels for Vitamin D and calcium in the USA. The study will encompass adequacy of intake levels and determinants, “estimated average requirements” and tolerable upper limits. The responsible committee intends to assess within 24 months of its establishment, and envisages that its recommendations will be released in a report in October or November 2010. EFSA is currently also undertaking a review of daily reference values for micronutrients, but it is not currently known when the results of this review will be finalised and released.
New Vitamin D recommendations
In the September issue of the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, Anthony Norman, a professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside, and Professor Dr. Roger Bouillon of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, have argued that the current state of research into Vitamin D deficiency and the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in populations in North America and Western Europe have led them to recommend higher daily intakes of Vitamin D. Thus, worldwide vitamin D nutritional policy is now at a crossroads. According to the authors, if the daily Vitamin D dietary intake was increased from its current recommended levels to 2000 International Units (IUs), it “could favourably impact the disease states associated with vitamin D deficiency, such as autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis), type-1 diabetes (especially perinatal vitamin D status), tuberculosis ... 28 metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk factors and most cancers”.
Scottish Summit on Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers from around the world will gather at the Beardmore Hotel in Glasgow on Tuesday 21 September to discuss links between vitamin D deficiency and multiple sclerosis (MS). The Scottish Summit on Vitamin D and MS will be opened by Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, and is the next step in the Shine on Scotland campaign led by Ryan McLaughlin. The summit is being hosted in conjunction with the MS Society Scotland and the Scottish Government and will feature speakers from Australia, Canada, and the US as well as the United Kingdom. Researchers will present the latest evidence on the “sunshine vitamin” and the implications for Scottish health policy. Among the many issues that will be addressed at the conference include Vitamin D and immunology by Prof. Colleen Hayes of University of Wisconsin-Madison, the genetic epidemiology of MS and Vitamin D by Prof. George Ebers of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Prof. Trevor Marshall of Autoimmunity Research Foundation on the impact of Vitamin D supplementation on MS.
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The Vitamin D Team
Public Advice International Foundation