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Most of us get enough vitamin D, calcium
One always needs to be skeptical when it comes to diet supplements -- are the people pushing the product really interested in your health, or selling their product?
Other times, the motives may be good, but is the science behind them?
New guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine, a 14-member expert committee convened at the request of the U.S. and Canadian governments, which studied nearly 1,000 publications, found that most of us, despite the push to add the supplements are getting enough vitamin D and calcium in our diets.
In fact, they suggest, people who take calcium supplements may be putting themselves at risk for kidney stones, and perhaps even heart disease. There is some evidence that high levels of vitamin D can increase the risks for fractures and the overall death rate and risk of heart disease.
Vitamin D and calcium are a big business, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, with sales of the former rising 82 percent from 2008 to 2009, reaching $430 million. While most vitamin D pills used to contain no more than 1,000 international units of the substance, it's now easy to find pills with 5,000 IU's. Most people, however, need only 600 IU's a day.
While most people actually do not get enough vitamin D from their diets, they do have enough of it in their blood, probably by making it naturally after being out in the sun and storing it in their bodies.
Most people, the committee concluded, get enough calcium from the foods they eat, about 1,000 milligrams a day for most adults or 1,200 for women ages 51-70.
The current emphasis on vitamin D and calcium is only the latest example of how popular thought on diet and nutrition has fallen off the log on one side or the other.
On the other hand, what your mother said was right -- get out doors in the sunshine and play, and eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables.
To read the complete report and view a video of the release, go here: