We have heard it one too often – too much of a good thing is not good. According to a feature on The New York Times, the same holds true for calcium and vitamin D.
The Institute of Medicine issued the new daily recommendations for calcium and vitamin D in November, and an expert committee has concluded that most people are not in need to calcium and vitamin D supplements.
This expert committee included bone specialists, and issued a warning that there are serious health risks that may be associated with taking supplements of these nutrients at high doses; these risks include kidney stones and heart disease, as well as, interestingly enough, fractures – which vitamin D is supposed to protect people from.
Vitamin D needs to be present so that calcium is absorbed by the digestive tract, so the two nutrients usually go hand in hand for healthy bones. In order to find out whether you need supplements or can get enough of them from your diet, the food and beverages that one consumes on a regular basis, one’s personal and family history of broken bones, and the habits that may influence bone health, will need to be considered.
The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,000 milligrams for children 4 to 8, women and men 19 to 50, and men 51 to 70; 1,300 milligrams for children 9 to 18; and 1,200 milligrams for women 51 and older and men 71 and older. For vitamin D, it is 600 units a day for everyone, aged 1 to 70, and 800 units for men and women 71 and older.