Study: Vitamin D Helps Keep Old Bones from Breaking


After USPSTF's recommendation of Vitamin D to prevent falls, a Tufts study finds Vitamin D can also inhibit fractures in older patients -- but they have to take it regularly at high doses.

You may remember that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, in one of its rare recent positive recommendations, conditionally approved Vitamin D as a way to keep elderly people from falling -- they found a "moderate net benefit" to seniors' skeletal muscle from regular doses.

Now the Tufts meta-analysis suggests that if Vitamin-D-enriched old people do fall, their bones are less likely to break.

But they have to be taking a lot of the stuff.

Researchers looked at 11 randomized clinical trials involving 31,000 older adults, and found, per its lead investigator, that "taking between 800 IUs and 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist and forearm in both men and women age 65 and older."

Taking less than 800 IUs, however, doesn't seem to do anything, the researcher found.

Tufts says we get about 150 IUs a day of Vitamin D via normal food intake, and most multivitamins contain 400 IUs of it, so your older patients should have regular D supplements.

Edroso, Roy. "DecisionHealth Daily :: Study: Vitamin D Helps Keep Old Bones from Breaking." DecisionHealth Daily. Decision Health, 6 July 2012. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.

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