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Too much vitamin D, or not enough? Yes

Today's New York Times front page has a story with the headline "Extra vitamin D and calcium aren't necessary, report says". It refers to a report from an expert committee, which the Times says finds:

The very high levels of vitamin D that are often recommended by doctors and testing laboratories - and can be achieved only by taking supplements - are unnecessary and could be harmful.... The group said most people have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their blood supplied by their diets and natural sources like sunshine.

Meanwhile, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal's "Personal Journal" section, a headline reads "Triple that vitamin D intake, panel prescribes". The bold call-out reads "Many Americans are vitamin D deficient due to working and playing indoors and slathering on sunscreen." The box on the next page identifies many at-risk groups, under the heading "Who needs extra D".

The Times and Journal are, in fact, writing about the same report, which was commissioned by the Institute of Medicine. Who's right? Well, I haven't read the report, but it appears the Times is. The Journal admits that the report "dismissed concerns that many Americans and Canadians are vitamin D deficient," but gives the opposite impression in its headline, and spends most of article airing the views of "vitamin D advocates". That approach to covering the report seems disingenuous to me.

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