Vitamin D, calcium supplements: Bad for your health?
According to an Institute of Medicine panel, most Americans don't need to take vitamin D and calcium supplements.
Wed, Dec 01 2010 at 2:07 PM
Earlier this year, I wrote about how I no longer take vitamin supplements
because some studies have shown these supplements can do more harm than good. Now comes a new study that makes me glad I didn’t spend money on more pills. According to a 14-member Institute of Medicine panel, calcium and vitamin D supplements can be bad for your health. Reports LA Times
The panel warned that levels of vitamin D routinely sold in some dietary supplements could increase the risk of kidney and tissue damage and that extra calcium could boost the risk of developing kidney stones in people who take the pills regularly. It also cited “emerging evidence” that high levels of calcium may contribute to heart disease.
The flip side of that news is something we can be happy about: Most Americans are already getting adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium in their diet. After all, both vitamin D and calcium are plentiful in many people’s dietary staples like milk and eggs — and also come in all manner of fortified processed foods, even if you tend to get your meals from pre-packaged boxes and packages instead of the farmers market.
That said, I also have a friend who was advised to take vitamin D supplements by her doctor after bloodwork revealed a deficiency. And I’m certainly not against supplements or medication. I simply agree with Slate’s Emily Anthes, who looked into studies of supplements
and reached this conclusion: “we should stop treating supplements like health candy and more like prescription meds, to be used only when there’s a demonstrated need.”
What about you? Do you take a multivitamin in the morning? What’s your opinion on vitamin supplements?
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