USDA officials urge care with supplement intake in Q-and-A

Published: Thursday, June 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 photo, Joe Latina, 71, is shown on his porch at his home in Ashtabula, Ohio. Latina participated in a study involving vitamin E pills.

Associated Press

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Our Take: Recent research indicates that some women and other individuals may not benefit from calcium or Vitamin D supplements. It may be advantageous to check with a doctor or medical expert before beginning any type of supplement regimen, as some experts are now even advocating against taking certain supplements in light of recent findings. Nanci Hellmich recently reported for USA Today:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said Tuesday that healthy postmenopausal women should not take daily low doses of vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone fractures because they slightly increase risk for kidney stones. In its draft recommendation, the panel also said existing research is insufficient to assess the risks or benefits of taking vitamin D to prevent cancer.

Endocrinologist Bess Dawson-Hughes, director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, answered questions about the new recommendations and gave this ending advice:

"We need to encourage food sources of calcium, vitamin D and all other nutrients. It's an old message, but it's timely again because we are getting a backlash on supplements."

Read more about Q&A: Be careful with your supplement regimen on USA Today.

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