Vitamin D: High Doses Lower Bone Fracture Risk In Elderly [Study]

Vitamin D has been linked with maintaining healthy bones for a long time, but even more so now that an international study has shown that the supplements can help older people prevent bone fractures.

CBC News reports that the study, which was published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggests that a high amount of the supplement can help reduce the risk of hip and other bone fractures. The amount required is 800 international units (IU) daily.

According to Reuters, study researcher Dr. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland stated that:

“These hip fractures cost a lot and are a really serious event. They are usually the end of independent life for a senior person; 50 percent do not regain their mobility. Reducing the risk by 30 percent with just a vitamin supplement would be an enormous public health opportunity.”

In the study, the researchers found that 75 percent of fractures occur in people who are over 65. CBC News notes that by the year 2050, researchers expect the incidence of hip fractures to increase by 240 percent for women and 310 percent among men.

When people in the study took over 800 IU of vitamin D daily, researchers saw a 30 percent drop in hip fractures, with a 14 percent decline in other broken bones, reports Reuters. The researchers further stated that, “Notably, there was no reduction in the risk of hip fracture at any actual intake level lower than 792 IU per day.”

Dr. Bischoff-Ferrari asserted of the results regarding the vitamin D study that:

“This is a very, very important public health message. There are still doctors around who are giving calcium without vitamin to hip fracture patients. Imagine giving a calcium supplement and increasing the fracture risk.”