Too much or too little and how do you know???
A new report from the Institute of Medicine is generating controversy from experts. Clearly, Vitamin D and Calcium are essential nutrients. Vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin and Calcium is a crucial mineral for muscle contraction and bone health and perhaps more.
One expert commented almost immediately (Dr. Heaney from Creighton Unviersity) that the 600 IU value was too low. In fairness, it must have been difficult for the panel since there is a lot of conflicting data. Additionally, the calcium values may or may not be enough for YOU, based on how well you absorb calcium. Vitamin D in excess can damage the heart and kidneys and should not be taken lightly and is best coordinated WITH your doctor.
Fortunately, your doctor can order vitamin D and calcium levels to generally check how balanced things are. Certainly there are variation in lab results and challenges in interpretation, but getting the test from the same lab each time may help. The committee reacted to new evidence and acknowledged food fortification and increased supplement use for their assessment that most people get the calcium and vitamin D that they need. The elderly and adolescent girls appeared to be exceptions. Could this be a key gap?
Consider that you build your bone bank early on and adequate calcium and vitamin D may lead to a failure to grow your bones to the strongest degree possible (achieve optimum peak bone mass). That skeleton has to last you a life time and if there is a gap just when your body needs it most, the result has to be an increased risk of low bone mass (osteopenia) or osteoporosis and perhaps fractures later in life.
The committee recommended that more research is needed to check benefits and risks of larger doses of vitamin D. This research should start immediately as we may be missing some key health benefits. See the full report and more at www.IOM.edu