Question of the Week: Does Calcium and Vitamin D Prevent Fractures?

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
  • Hey everybody; we haven't done a Question of the Week for a while, so I thought it was time to get everybody together again to discuss a recent study showing the benefits of vitamin D and calcium in preventing fractures.

     

    We get a lot of question on our Ask a Question forum about side effects, and we'd like to discuss options for osteoporosis treatment that don't have many side effects, that also prevent fractures and improve bone health.

     

    Fracture prevention is the ultimate goal for osteoporosis treatment. Of course many want to see improvements in bone density, but what we are actually striving for is fracture prevention and preserving our bone.

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    Recently a study came out about the benefits of calcium and vitamin D , and how it prevented fractures. We've known about the benefits of these two nutrients, but we didn't have a large study that proved these two things could prevent fractures .

     

    This study included 70,000 participants from the U.S. and Europe and it showed that calcium and vitamin D taken together "offered a natural, side effect-free way to prevent fractures."

     

    One important inclusion was the study done at the University of California at Davis, over fifteen years, which involved 1,000 post-menopausal women and a subsequent study that included men of all ages, and the results showed: "This study supports a growing consensus that combined calcium and vitamin D is more effective than vitamin D alone in reducing a variety of fractures," said Robbins. "Interestingly, this combination of supplements benefits both women and men of all ages, which is not something we fully expected to find. We now need to investigate the best dosage, duration and optimal way for people to take it (Robbins et al., UC Davis 2010)."

     

    In this study they did not factor in exercise, and I believe we all know this is crucial along with calcium and vitamin D, so don't interpret this to mean that exercise isn't vital for treatment; it is. Since they were just testing the affects of D alone or in combination with calcium, exercise was not one of the criterions studied.

     

    Robbins study found that: "Taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements on a daily basis reduces the risk of bone fractures regardless of whether a person is young or old, male or female, or has had fractures in the past."

     

    Questions:

     

    • Would you consider this type of approach for osteoporosis treatment, instead of the  traditional medications?

     

    • Have you remained fracture-free with calcium and vitamin D alone?

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    Sources:

    1. University of California at Davis: Jan 14, 2010
    Robbins et al. UC Davis research confirms benefits of calcium and vitamin D in preventing fractures.

     

     

     

Published On: March 07, 2010