Calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients known for their role in bone health.   However, a lot of vitamin companies have been touting these two substances for all kinds of health benefits beyond the skeletal system. This has created some confusion about nutritional messaging.

To help clarify this issue, the US and Canadian governments requested the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess the current data and outcomes related to these two nutrients.  Their findings were released in a brief on  November 2010 and are they are summarized below.

The overall conclusion was that most Americans and Canadians are receiving adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D.  However, there is some emerging evidence that too much of either substance can be harmful.  The committee looked at a full range of health outcomes ranging from a variety of health conditions including cancer, pregnancy, hypertension and bone health.   What they found is that a strong body of scientific evidence substantiates the importance of these two substances in bone health.   However, their review in areas outside of bone health, found that those studies often produced mixed or inconclusive results.   Higher levels of these products above the normal recommended amounts (there is a chart with recommendations by age group in the brief) have been linked to other health problems, challenging the concept "more is better".

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Comments

I have been taking Vitamin D supplements for a while now, but I believe there is no better source than the sun. It is the most efficient way to stimulate natural production of vitamin D in our body. The health bennefits are outstanding. Great Article

The very high levels of vitamin D that are often recommended by doctors and testing laboratories — and can be achieved only by taking supplements — are unnecessary and could be harmful, an expert committee says. It also concludes that calcium supplements are not needed.

My wife found out that she is deficient in vitamin D, and once she figured that out, it impacted her sleep, her metabolism, her energy. Your post is "spot on."

I had a friend with the same issue as Carl: not enough VitD led to sleep problems. Maybe adults need to go back to drinking milk all the time like their kids do! Thanks for the post

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