CRN Advises U.S. Panel to Revise Recommendations against Vitamin D, Calcium

July 17, 2012

The association pointed out that USPSTF’s recommendations contradict recommendations from the IOM and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) sent a July 10 letter to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), advising the group to revise recommendations USPSTF published in June cautioning against the use of low-dose vitamin D and calcium for protection against osteoporosis-related fractures and cancers.

In the CRN letter, Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, FACN, CRN’s senior director of scientific and regulatory affairs, pointed out that USPSTF’s recommendations contradict recommendations from “more authoritative bodies.” Specifically, CRN stated, USPSTF’s conclusions contradict those of the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report “Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/USDA joint 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, both of which drew conclusions different from USPSTF’s, although they are “comprised of essentially the same studies/data,” Wallace wrote. His letter also argued against several specific points in USPSTF’s report.

Wallace also criticized USPSTF for issuing an embargoed press release about the report to the media prior to the report’s official public release on June 12. As a result of this early release, “the USPSTF draft statement inappropriately encouraged consumer media interest in the tentative conclusions of the panel prior to the public comment period and promoted misreporting of the draft recommendations,” Wallace wrote, furthermore stating that USPSTF’s actions created public confusion.

“The USPSTF should use caution when communicating its final recommendations, as statements such as those made in the draft recommendations may be easily misinterpreted by the mainstream media and consumers as ‘vitamin D and calcium have no effect on bone health,’” Wallace wrote.