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Thread: Meta-analysis concludes vitamin D supplements help prevent fractures

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    Default Meta-analysis concludes vitamin D supplements help prevent fractures

    March 27, 2009

    The March 23, 2009 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Internal Medicine reported the results of a meta-analysis conducted at the University of Zurich in Switzerland which concluded that supplementing with vitamin D was effective for preventing fractures in older men and women, as long as higher dose supplements were used.
    Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, DrPH, University Hospital, Zurich, and his associates selected twelve clinical trials which investigated the effect of oral vitamin D supplements on non-spinal fractures that included a total of 42,279 participants aged 65 or older. Eight of the trials examined the supplements' effect on hip fractures.
    The pooled analysis found a 14 percent decrease in nonvertebral fracture risk and a 9 percent decrease in hip fracture for subjects who received vitamin D supplements. When data from the nine trials which tested a dose of vitamin D greater than 400 international units per day were combined in a separate analysis, a 20 percent reduction in nonvertebral fractures and an 18 percent decrease in hip fracture risk were revealed. For the three high quality trials in which the dose of vitamin D was 380 international units or less, no effect on fracture risk was noted. In a comparison of the benefits of higher dose vitamin D2 and D3, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) emerged as protective against nonvertebral fracture, while the effect of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) was not considered significant. Greater increases in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D also predicted a larger reduction in non-spinal fracture risk, while increased calcium did not appear to offer further protection. "Physiologically, the calcium-sparing effect of vitamin D may explain why we did not see an additional benefit of calcium supplementation at a higher dose of vitamin D," the authors noted.
    In their introduction to the article, the Dr Bischoff-Ferrari and colleagues remark that "The anti-fracture benefits of vitamin D have been questioned by several recent trials, leading to uncertainty among patients and physicians regarding recommendations for vitamin D supplementation. Factors that may obscure a benefit of vitamin D are low adherence to treatment, low dose of vitamin D or the use of less potent ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)."
    "The greater fracture reduction with a higher received dose or higher achieved 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels for both any non-vertebral fractures and hip fractures suggests that higher doses of vitamin D should be explored in future research to optimize anti-fracture efficacy," the authors write in their conclusion. "Also, it is possible that greater benefits may be achieved with earlier initiation of vitamin D supplementation and longer duration of use. Our results do not support use of low-dose vitamin D with or without calcium in the prevention of fractures among older individuals."



    http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2009/0327_Meta-Analysis-Concludes-Vitamin-D-Supplements-Help-Prevent-Fractures.htm?source=eNewsLetter2009Wk13-1&key=Article&l=0#article

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meta-analysis concludes vitamin D supplements help prevent fractures

    I have (had) documented osteoporosis. I used to get stress fractures on my right foot routinely. I lost several molars, not to tooth decay but to loss of bone and had several more loose teeth that I was told needed to come out. I changed my diet to nothing processed, no sugar, grains etc about 18 months ago. I also started taking 5000IU Vitamin D daily. It's been well over a year since I've had a stress fracture. My teeth are no longer loose either. I haven't supplemented calcium or anything else specifically for osteoporosis. I imagine had these studies used D3 at doses of 5000IU or so, the results would have been even more spectacular. At least this is a study admitting there are benefits instead of debunking supplements as expensive urine.

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