D is required for strengthening bones and we attain this essential vitamin from
sunlight exposure. Deficiency of vitamin D in children causes growth
retardation and skeletal deformities while in adults this deficiency leads to
osteoporosis, fractures, muscle
weakness, infectious diseases and osteopenia.
analysis conducted by Heike Bischoff et al and published in the New England
Journal of Medicine 2012, aimed at assessing the effects of vitamin D as per
the actual consumption of every volunteer rather than the randomly assigned
dose to each participant.
experts collected data from 11 double-blind randomized, controlled trials of
oral vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium in contrast to placebo
or only calcium in volunteers aged 65 years or above.
collected from 31,022 volunteers with 3770 cases of non-vertebral fractures and
1111 incidents of hip fractures. They compared and analyzed the occurrence of
hip and non-vertebral fractures among the treatment group, with actual vitamin
D consumption, and the control group.
important finding of the study was that the volunteers who randomly received
vitamin D showed non-significant reduction of 10 percent in the risk of hip
fracture and a reduction of 7 percent in risk of non-vertebral fracture.
benefits of high level of vitamin D intake were seen to remain consistent in
the subgroups defined by dwelling type, age group, calcium intake and baseline
25-hydroxyvitamin D level.
important point highlighted was the role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D level above 60
nmol per liter in the prevention of fractures.
scientists thus concluded that in people
aged 65 years or above vitamin D supplementation in high doses were quite
favorable in the prevention of any non-vertebral and hip fracture.
A Pooled Analysis of Vitamin D Dose Requirements
for Fracture Prevention; Heike Bischoff et al; N Engl J Med 2012; 367:40-49