You may have heard the news about vitamin D last week. On Tuesday, June 12, National Public Radio (NPR) released the results of a high-level panel conclusion from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This panel said that 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium daily doesn’t reduce the risk for bone fractures in postmenopausal women.
Usually, NPR does its research and releases good information on health related issues. But not this time.
NPR said researchers are not convinced that vitamin D and calcium prevent fractures in postmenopausal women. There aren’t enough good studies, they say. There ARE studies! But not as many as these researchers would like to see. And they insist their quality leaves something to be desired.
Here’s the problem. They looked at studies focused on low-dose vitamin D supplementation. In other words, they didn’t consider studies that used more than 400 IU of vitamin D.
So they obviously didn’t look at all the studies. Vitamin D may be the singular most important nutrient in our bodies. If you aren’t aware of its many uses — and the consequences of having insufficient amounts — just go to Vitamin D Council's website (www.vitamindcouncil.org). You'll find good studies on this nutrient and fractures, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and many more health conditions.
However, most of these good studies use far more than 400 IU of vitamin D. You see, the reason 400 IU of vitamin D doesn’t work for most women is that it’s just not enough to do any good. Most postmenopausal women are so deficient in vitamin D, they need at least 2,000 IU. In fact, most need 5,000 IU or more every day.
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What’s more, if you’re taking this much vitamin D, you don’t need to take 1,000 mg of calcium. In fact, for years I’ve recommended women not take more than 500 mg daily. The panel said that taking the vitamin D could increase your risk of kidney stones. Truth is, taking 1,000 mg of calcium does that without the help of extra vitamin D. So this is misleading information.
One doctor, Bruce Hollis, MD of the University of South Carolina, said the panel should be ashamed of reporting this misinformation. Hollis says, “The amounts of vitamin D they're recommending are extraordinarily low. They're basically the level an infant should get. To me it's appalling. I think the report is a sham.”
I agree. Don’t let this attempt to discredit vitamin D derail your health goals. Vitamin D is crucial for a healthy body and mind. Make sure you’re taking a lot more than 400 IU daily. You can order 5,000 IU tablets, the amount most people need to take daily, by following this link.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand