You are likely aware that a committee of the Institute of Medicine has just issued recommendations for calcium and vitamin D intake. The big news is that the committee is recommending not as much more of both nutrients as enthusiasts might have hoped, and sounds a precautionary note about excess dosing.
Are the supplement enthusiasts right, and IOM wrong- or vice versa? Is the IOM report a reliable basis for your own decisions?
Let's start with the strong points -- of both the IOM in general, and this particular report. The Dietary Reference Intakes --of which the new report is a small part, and home to the RDAs -- are evidence-based. As a scientist and physician, I consider that a good thing. But it comes with caveats nonetheless.
An evidence review is only as good as the available evidence. While the IOM committee report on calcium and vitamin D refers to "1000 papers reviewed," it says nothing (at least not before accessing the fine print)