Calcium, vitamin D supplements may not lower fracture risk in elderly

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Orthopedic specialist Dr. Daniel Smith says the study makes a "bold jump" by belligerence that these supplements do no good by any means.

That's according to a new study from Harvard University.

"There is no harm in giving calcium and vitamin D supplements to women after menopause who may be at increased risk of osteoporosis", Pradeep Sharma, Head of Orthopaedics at BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi told IANS in a telephonic conversation.

It's been longstanding medical advice that maturing individuals concentrate on getting enough calcium and vitamin D to protect their bone wellbeing as they age. However, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) highlighted several limitations of the otherwise sound meta-analysis and reminded most Americans do not get enough of these essential nutrients that impact critical body functions including bone health.

Too little calcium can lead to osteoporosis. That held up even when accounting for gender, past fractures, supplement dose, dietary calcium or baseline blood levels of vitamin D. The approved daily intake of vitamin D for many aged people is noted as 600 IU or 800 IU after age 70.

An additional 17 trials examined the role of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

The analysis focused on adults over the age of 50 who live on their own, and identified 51,145 people in the studies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Other trials were carried out in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium and China. The dosage of the supplements varied between the clinical trials, as did the recurrence at which they were taken.

It found the use of supplements that included calcium, vitamin D, or both was not associated with a significant difference in the risk of hip fractures compared with placebo or no treatment (risk ratio, 1.53, 1.21, and 1.09, respectively).

They also found no clear link between calcium supplements and fractures involving the spine or other bones.

"Dietary calcium is indispensable for skeletal wellbeing", Zhao said.

"What you need is a good diet".

The evidence audit additionally included a lot of data from the Women's Health Initiative, a federally funded study of maturing US ladies, said Andrea Wong, VP of logical and administrative undertakings with the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade affiliation speaking to dietary supplement makers.

Consideration of the WHI may have skewed the general consequences of the audit, Wong argued.

If you've been taking calcium and vitamin D supplements thinking you were boosting your odds of avoiding future broken bones, you may have been wasting your time. "Generalized recommendations relying on this study should be mindful that further reductions in calcium and vitamin D consumption may exacerbate these public health concerns", she said. People who took vitamin-D, calcium, or both, did not have a lower risk of bone breaks regardless of the dose, sex of the patient, or their fracture history.