Vitamin D And Calcium May Not Prevent FracturesEditor's Choice
Main Category: Preventive Medicine
Also Included In: Bones / Orthopedics
Article Date: 26 Feb 2013 - 10:00 PST
Vitamin D And Calcium May Not Prevent Fractures
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Vitamin D and calcium supplements do not prevent fractures in adult men or women, according to a report published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
After discovering that there was not sufficient scientific proof to demonstrate that vitamin D and calcium supplements help protect bones from breaking in men or the majority of postmenopausal women, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) made their final recommendation.
Studies on both vitamin D and calcium were reviewed by the Task Force before coming up with their new suggestions.
A report published last year in BMJ said the risk of fractures later in life is not lowered by a high daily calcium intake. A different report on vitamin D injections showed that they do not reduce the rate of bone fractures suffered by elderly people.
The new recommendations say that women who are postmenopausal should not take daily vitamin D doses of 400 international units or less or calcium doses of 1,000 milligrams or less.
However, women should keep taking the supplements if they are told to do so by their doctor because they are vitamin D deficient or have osteoporosis.
The experts explained:
These recommendations apply to noninstitutionalized or community-dwelling asymptomatic adults without a history of fractures. This recommendation does not apply to the treatment of persons with osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency.
The Task Force suggested that healthy men stay away from the supplements as well. This is because the risk of getting kidney stones is greater than the advantages of taking them.
However, even though calcium and vitamin D do not prevent fractures, they are both important to the health of bones.
Seventeen percent of adults in the U.S. take vitamin D and 20% take calcium supplements, even though not of all those people actually need them.
Extra vitamins are not always necessary when individuals are active and in good health.
The authors wrote:
"The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms."
Written by Sarah Glynn
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH; and on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Annals of Internal Medicine 26 February 2013;
24 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256911.php>
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
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