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High Doses of Vitamin D Beneficial in Preventing Fractures

by Anne Trueman on  July 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Vitamin 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.
High Doses of Vitamin D Beneficial in Preventing Fractures

An 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.

The 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.

Researchers 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.

An 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.

The 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.

Another important point highlighted was the role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D level above 60 nmol per liter in the prevention of fractures.

The 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.

Reference:
A Pooled Analysis of Vitamin D Dose Requirements for Fracture Prevention; Heike Bischoff et al; N Engl J Med 2012; 367:40-49

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