The Natural Products Association (NPA) has weighed into the debate over the role of calcium and vitamin D in reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures following the publication of a report questioning the value of supplementation.
Dr. Cara Welch, NPA’s vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, was responding to last week’s draft recommendation statement from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of doctors and other medical practitioners.
According to USPSTF, daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate has “no effect” on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women, while the effect of higher doses is unproven.
This contradicts IOM advice
But this is “out of step with current research”, said Welch.
“The Institute of Medicine has recommended that people should actually get 600-800 international units of vitamin D and 700 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, depending on age. Their recommendations took into account nearly 1,000 published studies, confirming the role of calcium and vitamin D in promoting bone health.
“It’s also important to note that the federal government has approved health claims associating vitamin D and calcium intake with a reduced risk of osteoporosis.”
Taylor C. Wallace, Ph.D., Welch’s counterpart at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, has also criticised the task force report, which he says relies heavily on the findings of the controversial Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, which has been widely acknowledged to have "major flaws" in its design.
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