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With millions of people around the work receiving vitamin D tests indicating that they are deficient, the Endocrine Society recently released updated guidelines for optimal blood concentrations of the nutrient.
The new recommendations call for concentrations of between 30 and 60 nanograms per milliliter of blood. This represents a significant increase over previous guidelines.
Representatives of the society said that between 40 and 75 percent of the world's population is vitamin D deficient. Low levels of the nutrient can contribute to a range of potentially serious medical conditions, including osteoporosis, rickets and skin conditions. Additionally, emerging research has tied deficiencies to an increased risk of developing certain cancers as well as multiple sclerosis.
"Our objective is to provide guidelines to clinicians for the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency with an emphasis on the care of patients who are at risk for deficiency," said Michael Hoick, a Boston University researcher who introduced the society's new recommendations.
In addition to the new guidelines, the group recommended that anyone who had certain risk factors for deficiency seek vitamin D testing.
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