Calcium, vitamin D reduce fracture risk in people over 50

October 1, 2007

Calcium supplementation alone or with vitamin D reduces the risk of fracture and the rate of bone loss in middle-aged and elderly individuals, according to a review of published studies in the Aug. 25 issue of The Lancet.

Calcium supplementation alone or with vitamin D reduces the risk of fracture and the rate of bone loss in middle-aged and elderly individuals, according to a review of published studies in the Aug. 25 issue of The Lancet.

Benjamin M.P. Tang, MD, from the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 29 randomized trials involving 63,897 patients aged 50 years or older. They looked at whether calcium alone or with vitamin D could prevent fracture and osteoporotic bone loss.

The researchers found a 12% lower risk of fracture (24% where compliance was high) in the 17 trials examining fracture. In the 23 trials that examined bone mineral density, the rate of bone loss was reduced by 0.54% in the hip and by 1.19% in the spine. Better results were obtained with calcium doses of at least 1,200 mg and vitamin D doses of at least 800 IU.

Tang BM, Eslick GD, Nowson C, et al. Use of calcium or calcium in combination with vitamin D supplementation to prevent fractures and bone loss in people aged 50 years and older: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2007;370:657-666.