BOSTON – A recent study supported in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture underscores the importance of vitamin D’s ability to help the body make use of calcium. The study supports the idea that correcting inadequate blood levels of vitamin D is more important than increasing dietary calcium intake beyond 566 mg a day among women and 626 mg a day among men for better bone mineral density.

The study looked at about 10,000 men and women age 20 and older participating in a nationally representative survey. Bess Dawson Hughes, a scientist with the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, was a co-author.