Vitamin D Prevents Fractures

A recent clinical review reported in the NY Times provides great news for older adults. A meta-analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials, together representing over 65,000 subjects suggests that Vitamin D reduces the risk for non-vertebral fractures by 20 % and hip fractures by 18%.

Investigators report that 400 IU of vitamin D (the Recommended Dietary Allowance by the FDA and typically in one Centrum multivitamin pill) had no ‘discernible effect’ and higher doses (480 – 700 IU/day) are required.

Vitamin D is an important requirement for healthy bones. Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the gut, an essential component of bones. Lack of Vitamin D can cause bones to lose calcium, becoming thin and brittle, and prone to fractures. Vitamin D is also important for a healthy immune system.

Vitamins D is naturally present in very few foods and is thus added to milk sold in the US. When taken together with calcium vitamin D protects older adults and particularly women from osteoporosis – a thinning of bones.

Exposure to sunlight is an important source of vitamin D synthesis in the body. Folks living in areas with many months of winter may not get enough sun during the winter months and should consider taking Vitamin D supplements.

Ref: National Institutes of Health;
PDF Original Study

9 thoughts on “Vitamin D Prevents Fractures

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  1. Wow.. never knew so many facts about Vitamin D.. need to go for a walk right now.. its quite sunny after a long winter 😀 Need to catch up with your posts.. I missed few as I was shifting to a new home..

  2. Thanks for this important info on vitamin D. I wasn’t aware that doses higher than the FDA’s Recommended Dietary Allowance were required for the benefits for bones. Some of the other benefits to vitamin D are boosting immunity and helping to prevent certain cancers (as mentioned in Sue’s comment above) and high blood pressure.

    1. This meta analysis of 12 clinical trials revealed that the 400IU dose did not have any discernible protection. yes, that is the normal dosage of 1 Centrum Multivitamin pill; Same as in many other multivitamin pills I surveyed; For a protective effective, 480 -700 IU was required.

      But consider that many of our foods have some amounts of Vitamin D; All milk for eg is fortified with Vitamin D; so is yogurt and dairy; Also, if you are outside even a 15 minute exposure to sunlight on the face, and arms – twice a week – yields you enough Vitamin D.

      So, if you do take 1 supplement pill, and with all the other forms of vitamin D, you are likely over the 480 IU threshold. having said that, if you are at risk for fractures, I’d take an extra vitamin D pill – just to be sure!

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

  3. There are so many things that Vit D is good for – helps prevent breast cancer too! In India there is nothing to worry about because of all the sunlight. Out here its so hard to get 15 min of exposure to sunlight everyday – in the winter because its too cold and in the summer because it is too hot!!!

    1. Thank you Sue:
      Didn’t know about the breast cancer, thanks
      yes, here it is tough to get that sunlight when you are all cooped up inside. Better to take those supplements! and at least to go for a little walk when the sun is out (even if it is cold).

      Yaay! Spring is coming! 🙂
      hope kids are doing well.

      1. Well, I do go for walks with teh boys even when its cold out – but 99% of the skin all covered up, it doesn’t do anything for Vit D production (does lift my spirits and gets the excess energy out of the kids). I can’t wait for spring. I bought them shorts. Ash is in India with Rohan. Its the first time we have separated them and its actually interesting. They seem to be enjoying the time apart (especially the undivided attention bit). As for me, I must say this one child thing is EASY.

        1. BTW, you also get a lot of sun on your face; and you are right, it boosts the spirits!

          interesting that Ash took Rohan with him; not knowing anything, I’d have thought it would be have been traumatic separating the twins so early. But you are right – they are likely learning their own development thing without the distraction of the other. Very Interesting!

          Ha Ha! Its easy taking care of just one kid at a time!

          Hope they have a good time!

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