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Misc. News : Letter to Editor Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Reader's comment on Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements of Questionable Benefit
By Mark P.
Feb 26, 2007 - 7:10:09 AM

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The article: Calicium, Vitamin D Supplements of Questionable Benefit,    most be some kind of a joke.  Calcium is not even spelled correctly.  Researchers are saying that the human body uses 3000 to 5000 IU of vitamin D per day(Heaney, et. Al Creighton U).  To tell a person that vitamin D has no benefit is like telling a person that is drinking only 10oz of water per day will not prevent dehydration.  It is correct, but you have not told the whole truth.  Who paid you to write this article?

I have been taking 5000 IU per day for two years and my vertebral discs have healed and I have avoided back surgery.  I have actually grown two inches taller than I have ever been.  My PCP tells me I have the health of a 25 year old and that is not bad for a 55 year old man.  You guys are just pharm animals at the will of the pharma.

Mark P.

Greensboro , NC  

Editor's note:

Thank Mark for his comment.  The article in question
Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements of Questionable Benefit was written by a staff writer of VOA News, a U.S. government media outlet.

Our opinion is that the study results may not be faulty. But the interpretation is misleading.  In the study, subjects were asked to take supplements of 1,000 milligrams of calcium with 400 international units of vitamin D. There is nothing wrong with that.  But the conclusion that calcium and vitamin D can't improve cardiovascular health can be problematic as the researchers did not study other doses and their effects remain virtually unknown.

We agree that the effect of vitamin D and or calcium like all other nutrients or even drugs depends on the dose.   For instance, vitamin C is said to have no protective effect against colds, as shown in many studies. But often times the dose used in such studies is ridiculously low. 

As for vitamin D, the most authoritative experts who have done research for many years on the vitamin have already challenged the current recommended daily allowance.  They suggest that the RDA should be raised to at least 2000 IU per day from 200 IU for adults under 51 and 400 IU for adults above 50.

Readers are advised to exercise caution whenever they read an article on some health issue.  The majority of studies are sponsored by the industry or the government for a purpose which is often business or commerce-related.  Errors, mistakes, biases, misinformation and or falsification are inevitable as early survey reports show.   To prevent yourself from being misled, you’d better read widely and think deeply.

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