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BC elderly median 400 IU only only 3 percent exceed 2000 IU vitamin D – June 2010

The majority of older British Columbians take vitamin D-containing supplements.

Can J Public Health. 2010 May-Jun;101(3):246-50.
Green TJ, Barr SI, Chapman GE.
Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

OBJECTIVES: Health Canada recommends vitamin D supplements (10 microg/d) for Canadians aged > or = 50 years, but no data are available on adoption of this recommendation. Accordingly, this study was conducted to determine the current use of vitamin D supplements among British Columbian adults 50 years and over, and to explore relationships among vitamin D supplement use, socio-demographic variables, and knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about vitamin supplementation.

METHODS: A population-representative stratified sample, recruited by random-digit dialling, completed a telephone-administered survey in late fall of 2008. Respondents provided details on supplements used in the past month (dosage, frequency, etc.) and demographic data, and responded to statements reflecting health beliefs about supplements, from which a Supplement Health Belief score was calculated. Eligible non-respondents indicated their age, sex, and whether they had used a supplement within the past month.

RESULTS: Similar proportions of participants (n = 969) and non-respondents (n = 1,027) reported any supplement use in the past month. Among participants, 60% had used a vitamin D supplement (median intake among supplement users was 10 microg/d) and 3% exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of 50 microg/d. In multivariate analysis, vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with female sex, not smoking, higher educational attainment, having a health care professional recommend supplement use, and a higher Supplement Health Belief score.

CONCLUSION: Although most older adults used a vitamin D supplement, further dissemination of this recommendation is needed. PMID: 20737819
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