Condition - Calcium plus vitamin D may reduce fracture risk
The combination of vitamin D and calcium has long been recommended to reduce the risk of bone fractures for older women, particularly those at risk of, or suffering from, osteoporosis. The action of the two nutrients is complementary, with calcium supporting bone formation and repair, while vitamin D helps the body to absorb the calcium from the digestive system. Now a new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that the bone-boosting effects of vitamin D and calcium may also extend to all age groups and to both sexes.
The study, led by researchers at Copenhagen University, pooled data from seven major scientific trials using either vitamin D alone or in combination with calcium. Data on almost 70,000 people from Europe and the US was included in the study, analysing information on men and women, as well as people from a variety of age groups.
According to the study findings, the trials, which used vitamin D on its own at a dose of 10 or 20 micrograms, showed no significant reductions in fracture risk. However, when the vitamin D was taken with calcium, the vitamin-mineral combination significantly reduced all fractures by eight per cent, and hip fractures by 16%. What’s more, the combination of calcium and vitamin D was effective “irrespective of age, sex, or previous fractures”, said the researchers.
Source: B. Abrahamsen (2010) “Patient level pooled analysis of 68,500 patients from seven major vitamin D fracture trials in US and Europe” British Medical Journal. Epub ahead of print.