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Vitamins: The Debate

Steve Scher
12/21/2010 at 10:00 a.m.

A recent report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies found that the amount of calcium and vitamin D needed by most people might be less than previously recommended. Here in the Pacific Northwest many experts think we are especially low on vitamin D, particularly during our grey, overcast winters. How much vitamin D should we really be getting? What are the benefits and drawbacks of taking nutritional supplements? How much of our daily recommended vitamins can we get from diet and environment? KUOW's Steve Scher talks to the experts. Email your questions to "Weekday."


Patsy Brannon is a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University. She previously served as a co–chair of the Federal Trans Agency Vitamin D Working Group as a visiting professor in the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. She was a member of the committee on the recent Institute of Medicine report about vitamin D.

Susan Ott is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington and has been practicing in their metabolic bone disease clinic. She is a specialist in osteoporosis and particularly in the bone disease that is seen in patients with kidney problems.

Dr. Lucinda Messer is a licensed naturopathic physician from Kirkland, Washington. She is an alumnus of Bastyr University and is the author of "Powerful Medicine: Vitamin D."

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