FINDING BALANCE ALGORITHM
Vitamin D & Calcium
Taking a vitamin D supplement and consuming the recommended amount of calcium each day can increase bone and muscle strength, reducing the risk of falls and fractures with these falls. As the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high in older adults, assess vitamin D intake from supplements.
Individuals can be referred to their physician or healthcare provider to find out if they are at risk of vitamin D deficiency or osteoporosis. Osteoporosis Canada and Alberta Health Services advise that all healthy adults, 19 to 69 years, take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU year round as it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone. Osteoporosis Canada advises adults over 50 who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency take 800-2000 IU of vitamin D daily as a supplement. More than 2,000 IU of vitamin D supplement should not be taken without checking with a medical practitioner. Remember to add together the vitamin D from all supplements.
For adults over 50 years Osteoporosis Canada recommends a total intake of 1200 mg of calcium daily from food and supplements combined. Taking more calcium than the recommended amount is not better. Recent evidence points to possible health risks from taking high dose calcium supplements, so always check with a healthcare provider for advice on calcium supplements.
The Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) of nutrients is aimed at a generally healthy population - they are not therapeutic recommendations for treatment of medical conditions. It is important that those individuals at risk for osteoporosis, or who are under treatment for this disease, have their nutritional intake evaluated by a Registered Dietitian.