A new Endocrine Society guideline for treating vitamin D deficiency calls for screening of persons at high risk for deficiency, but does not endorse such testing for others.

“There is not sufficient evidence to recommend screening individuals who are not at risk for deficiency or to prescribe vitamin D to attain the noncalcemic benefit for cardiovascular protection,” the researchers wrote (J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96:1911-1930).

The guideline also advises supplementation at suggested daily intake and tolerable upper-limit levels to maximize bone health and muscle function.

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Although people may require up to 2,000 µ/day more to maintain a vitamin D blood level >30 ng/mL, the guideline  recommends the following: at least 600 µ/day for adults aged 19 to 70 years; at least 800 µ/day for persons aged 70 years or older; at least 600 µ/day for pregnant and lactating women; at least 400 µ/day for children younger than 1 year and 600 µ/day for children aged 1 year and older.

A report published online ahead of print in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by Bruce W. Hollis, PhD, and colleagues indicates that even a high amount of vitamin D supplementation is safe and effective for healthy pregnant women, with no adverse effects for newborns.

In addition, data from a separate analysis involving 50 trials indicated vitamin D3 supplementation reduced mortality by approximately 6% among elderly women (mean age 74 years) (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011; Jul 6;7:CD007470).

The Endocrine Society guideline states that vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 supplementation should be prescribed to overcome deficiency.