How much calcium and vitamin D do we need?
The Institute of Medicine reviewed many research studies and found that there was ample evidence that calcium and vitamin D are needed for bone health. They found inconsistent, inconclusive evidence for non-skeletal outcomes: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infections, and autoimmune disorders. Surprising many in the medical community, they stated that the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy among Americans is overestimated.
"Vitamin D recommendations by the IOM are 600 IU/day from age 1 to 70, and 800 IU/day for age 71 and older."
For children, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children consume a well-rounded diet including low-fat dairy products for good bone health. The AAP’s advice includes: “Drinking three 8-oz glasses of milk per day (or the equivalent) will achieve the recommended adequate intake of calcium in children 4 to 8 years of age, and four 8- to 10-oz glasses of milk (or the equivalent) will provide the adequate calcium intake for adolescents.
Yogurt and cheese are also good sources of calcium. Flavored milks, cheeses, and yogurt brands containing reduced fat or no fat and modest amounts of added sweeteners (both caloric and non-caloric) are generally recommended.” (Frank R Greer, Nancy F Krebs and Committee on Nutrition, “Optimizing Bone Health and Calcium Intakes of Infants, Children, and Adolescents.” Pediatrics. 117(2):578-585, February 2006. Available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/117/2/578.full
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) made these recommendations: