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Vitamin D and Calcium Review

Posted: Jul 17 in Nutrition, Weight Management Strategies by

I was lucky enough to attend a presentation on Vitamin D and Calcium research in early May this year. The presenter, Dr. Robert Heaney, has spent the majority of his life both compiling and researching the metabolic mechanisms of both Vitamin D and Calcium. He explained the reasons some poorly designed studies should not be used to determine accurate levels of supplementation. For example, one big study, the NHANES, on calcium supplementation found no benefit from taking extra calcium. The study used women who already were taking in about 1100 mg a day of the mineral. They had adequate calcium before the study began and so had no benefit from taking more. Another Vitamin D study used way too little D to make a significant difference in people whose levels were so extremely low that they would have needed huge doses of D to make any difference.

Dr. Heaney’s current recommendations: 2000 IU Vitamin D daily for men and women. 1000-1200 mg Calcium daily for women. He also recommends a Dietary Protein intake of at least 1.2 grams per kilogram g of a person’s current weight – not their goal weight. (for a 130 lb woman, this would work out to 71 grams of protein a day. For a 200 lb man – 109 gms). Protein and Vitamin D are necessary to make calcium supplementation effective for bone maintenance and growth.
Vitamin D comes in capsule form and is tiny – very easy to swallow! It is inexpensive. It’s all the same, so more costly brands are not required. If you haven’t had your level checked, you might want to ask your physician to do that for you.

-By Tracy Boykin, RD

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