Seniors who take calcium supplements along with vitamin D may lengthen their lives, a new analysis suggests. However, only it’s only both in combination that appears effective; vitamin D by itself had no benefit, the researchers noted. (Many dispute this also)
The other day the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force proposed that postmenopausal women not take low-dose calcium and vitamin D supplements daily to ward off bone fractures because the effect is negligible.
Some researchers believe the task force misunderstood the data on the benefit of vitamin D and calcium. He said the amount of these supplements taken in the studies they looked at were too low to have any beneficial effect.
So what’s a person to believe? Since these “experts” disagree, what should we be doing? The thing I see is that the task force said low dose. The other researchers recommend higher doses. Dr. Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine said, “Other studies have shown that if you have adequate vitamin D, [it] can reduce the risk of mortality by about 7 percent.”
Knowing what to do about supplements is confusing, Holick said. He recommends adults take 1,500 to 2,000 international units of vitamin D daily with 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium from both diet and supplements in combination.
“By doing so, you will preserve your bone health, you will improve muscle strength and you may have additional health benefits including [lowering the] risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes and infectious diseases,” Holick said. “There is no downside to increasing your vitamin D intake.”
Therefore, I think I will continue as usual. We take 1000 IU of vitamin D. We don’t take that high a level of calcium. This of course, is just supplements. There is additional in foods. When experts disagree, go with the experts you feel have no hidden agenda.