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Consensus Study Report


Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for the human body. Establishing the levels of these nutrients that are needed by the North American population is based on the understanding of the health outcomes that calcium and vitamin D affect. It is also important to establish how much of each nutrient may be "too much."

Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D provides reference intake values for these two nutrients. The report updates the DRI values defined in Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride, the 1997 study from the Institute of Medicine. This 2011 book provides background information on the biological functions of each nutrient, reviews health outcomes that are associated with the intake of calcium and vitamin D, and specifies Estimated Average Requirements and Recommended Dietary Allowances for both. It also identifies Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, which are levels above wish the risk for harm may increase. The book includes an overview of current dietary intake in the U.S. and Canada, and discusses implications of the study. A final chapter provides research recommendations.

The DRIs established in this book incorporate current scientific evidence about the roles of vitamin D and calcium in human health and will serve as a valuable guide for a range of stakeholders including dietitians and other health professionals, those who set national nutrition policy, researchers, the food industry, and private and public health organizations and partnerships.

Note: In response to claims of methodological errors in this report after its release, the National Academies undertook a two-phased review process to identify whether errors had been made and if so what effect those errors had on the findings. Here are the reports of the two review panels: Phase I and Phase II.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 2011. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

1132 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Hardcover:  978-0-309-16394-1
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-21203-8
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xvi
Summary 1-14
1 Introduction 15-34
2 Overview of Calcium 35-74
3 Overview of Vitamin D 75-124
4 Review of Potential Indicators of Adequacy and Selection of Indicators: Calcium and Vitamin D 125-344
5 Dietary Reference Intakes for Adequacy: Calcium and Vitamin D 345-402
6 Tolerable Upper Intake Levels: Calcium and Vitamin D 403-456
7 Dietary Intake Assessment 457-478
8 Implications and Special Concerns 479-512
9 Information Gaps and Research Needs 513-522
Appendix A: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary 523-536
Appendix B: Issues and Interests Identified by Study Sponsors 537-538
Appendix C: Methods and Results from the AHRQ-Ottawa Evidence-Based Report on Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health 539-724
Appendix D: Methods and Results from the AHRQ-Tufts Evidence-Based Report on Vitamin D and Calcium 725-1012
Appendix E: Literature Search Strategy 1013-1018
Appendix F: Evidence Maps 1019-1024
Appendix G: Cases Studies of Vitamin D Toxicity 1025-1034
Appendix H: Estimated Intakes of Calcium and Vitamin D from National Surveys 1035-1044
Appendix I: Proportion of the Population Above and Below 40 nmol/L Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations and Cumulative Distribution of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations: United States and Canada 1045-1058
Appendix J: Workshop Agenda and Open Session Agendas 1059-1064
Appendix K: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 1065-1074
Index 1075-1102
Summary Tables: Dietary Reference Intakes 1103-1116

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