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You may have heard that most Americans are deficient in vitamin D. But according to the Institute of Medicine, which has been studying the issue for two years, the recent trend of taking large doses of vitamin D as supplements isn't a good idea at all. Their Food and Nutrition Board has released new guidelines for the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin D:
OLD Vitamin D RDI: Children and Most Adults: 200 International Units (IU) per day
People Older Than 50: 400 IU per day
NEW Vitamin D RDI: Children and Most Adults: 600 IU per day
People Older Than 70: 800 IU per day
While the new guidelines call for more vitamin D than the standards set 13 years ago, the RDI is still considerably less than the 4,000 IU daily dose some advocates have been preaching. But it's important to keep in mind that there are few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D. Inexpensive and delicious, eggs are one of those few foods. And you may be surprised to know that pastured eggs can contain up to 6 times as much vitamin D as commercially produced, factory-farmed eggs. True free-range eggs, as compared to regular supermarket eggs, have also been found to contain:
- 1⁄3 less cholesterol
- 1⁄4 less saturated fat
- 2⁄3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
For more information about the health benefits of free-range eggs, see The Chicken and Egg Page.