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Press Release

American Dietetic Association Supports New Institute of Medicine Recommendations on Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

2010-11-30

Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802 media@eatright.org

CHICAGO – The American Dietetic Association supports a report issued Tuesday, November 30, by the Institute of Medicine calling for new dietary intake levels for calcium and vitamin D to maintain health and avoid risks associated with excess consumption. The new Dietary Reference Intake values are based on evidence supporting the roles of these nutrients in bone health but not in other health conditions.

"The American Dietetic Association appreciates the thorough research directed by IOM regarding adequate intake amounts and health benefits of calcium and vitamin D," said registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Katherine Tallmadge. "This report provides the evidence-based information that Americans need to make informed decisions regarding their daily diet."

The IOM report, Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D, offers specific recommendations on the amounts of calcium and vitamin D that Americans should consume each day. The report concludes there is not yet sufficient information about the health benefits of consuming these nutrients beyond bone health.

"Over the past several years there has been a great deal of interest and theory regarding the additional health benefits of calcium and vitamin D, including its effect on cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and immune response," Tallmadge said.

"According to IOM's thorough review, this information was from studies that could not be considered consistent or conclusive. The American Dietetic Association strongly believes in the use of evidence-based practice guidelines, especially when it comes to determining Dietary Reference Intake values for nutrients," Tallmadge said.

Evidence-based practice means relying on the best available science as the basis for practice decisions. ADA has made a strong commitment to evidence-based practice and emphasizing the need for all practitioners to understand evidence analysis and use evidence-based guidelines in its work with patients and clients.

The IOM report also states that, while national surveys indicate the majority of Americans and Canadians are consuming enough calcium and vitamin D, "higher levels have not been shown to confer greater benefits, and in fact, they have been linked to other health problems, challenging the concept that 'more is better'."

The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.