Pam Flores (a/k/a windblown), besides being a fellow BMD warrior, is a writer over on HealthCentral.com. As some of you may recall, a few months back the IOM (Institute of Medicine) released new recommendations for vitamin D and calcium intake. The vitamin D recommendations in particular set off an avalanche of discussions (and panic). People worried they’d been taking too much; people worried that their 57 or 65 ng/mL 25-hydroxy levels were too high; blah blah blah blah.
At the time, I said that I thought the IOM had erred on the side of caution; that the recommendations were for your average, healthy, non-osteoporotic bear and that I didn’t think those D recommendations were applicable to someone tiny, fluorescent-white, in a gray northern clime like me.
Well. Pam recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Bill Davis (of the HeartScanBlog and the Track Your Plaque movement.) I’m a fan of Dr. Davis because of his post about creating a do-it-yourself treatment for osteoporosis (which I’ve been following ever since.)
Anyway, salient quote from the vitamin D interview:
I … regard the IOM’s advice on vitamin D and calcium as just the sort of extremely conservative, one-size-fits-all analysis that such efforts tend to generate. Having addressed vitamin D issues in literally thousands of patients and witnessing the results, I will give as much weight to the IOM’s guidelines as I do to the FDA’s Food Pyramid advice on diet: I ignore their advice because I feel it is wrong and unnecessarily dogmatic and conservative.
As for calcium supplementation, Dr. Davis feels that once your circulating D levels are brought up to their desirable range, the intestinal absorption of calcium is doubled, meaning you may not need any additional calcium (in the form of a pill) at all. He says most of the research out there about calcium has been conducted without supplementing with any D, or if D was supplemented, it was usually with the less-effective D2, not D3. He thinks they need to go back to square one and study calcium supplementation after D3 has been restored. He also says he tells his patients not to supplement with more than 500 mg of calcium a day. Interesting.
The interview is fascinating, important, enlightening and timely. Dr. Davis says so many things that make so much sense. What I’ve quoted here is just the tip of the iceberg. Please everyone take a trip over to HealthCentral and read the whole thing.