Navigation Links
Vitamin D Helps Bone Health Only With Calcium: Report

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis on the effects of vitamin D on bone health shows that it cuts fracture risk in older adults, but only when taken with calcium supplements.

The review of nearly 50 studies on vitamin D -- present in a small number of foods and produced naturally in the skin with sun exposure -- by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) also indicates that it's too soon to tell if vitamin D supplements can help prevent cancer.

Report author Mei Chung, assistant director of the Evidence-based Practice Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said she wasn't able to advise specific recommended doses based on the review, which concluded that a daily vitamin D regimen of between 300 and 1,100 international units (IUs) combined with 500 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium reduces fracture risk in those over 65.

"I think vitamin D likely has more benefits than we currently know and also [presents] little harm," said Dr. Robert Graham, a vitamin D researcher and internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who did not participate in the USPSTF report, published Dec. 20 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"An acceptable level is always a moving target," Graham added. "It's a very controversial topic, although I honestly don't know why it's so controversial."

The USPSTF review comes about a year after a more extensive report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which said that most Americans and Canadians up to age 70 need no more than 600 IUs of vitamin D per day to maintain health, while those 71 and older may need as much as 800 IUs.

The IOM report took nearly 1,000 published studies into account, while the latest review incorporated 19 randomized controlled trials and 28 observational studies to determine the benefits and harms of vitamin D with or without calcium supplementation on clinical outcomes of cancer and fractures.

In a related study also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine issue, the USPSTF noted that there's still no evidence to support vitamin D supplementation to prevent heart disease. Limited data suggest that high dosages can reduce the risk for all kinds of cancer, but more research is needed to draw a firm conclusion, the USPSTF said. And concern remains about proper dosing, since too much vitamin D can raise the risk for kidney and urinary tract stones.

Graham said most people should ask their doctors to test their blood levels of vitamin D to ensure they're not deficient.

"More physicians are checking vitamin D in their patients," he said. "I think there's greater awareness. At some point we have to decide what's good, what's bad, what's safe and what's not safe. I think we've learned from the last 10 years of this data, that there's still a lot we don't know about vitamin D."

Chung, also an investigator at Tufts Medical Center's Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, said that research focusing on bone mineral density -- a measurement of bone thickness -- could be useful to further pin down correct vitamin D doses for various age groups.

"It could be a shorter trial that could enroll many more people . . . and compare a variety of doses to see which dose we could probably use to the best effect," she said. "If we use fracture as an outcome, it will take much longer and cost a lot of money to enroll a lot of subjects."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on vitamin D.

SOURCES: Mei Chung, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant director, Evidence-Based Practice Center, and investigator, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Center, Boston; Robert Graham, M.D., M.P.H., internist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 20, 2011, Annals of Internal Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vitamin D Levels Tied to Diabetes Risk in Obese Kids
2. Low vitamin D levels may contribute to development of Type 2 diabetes
3. Low Vitamin D May Increase Stroke, Heart Attack Risk in Women
4. Heart Patients Using Vitamins May Take Meds Improperly
5. UH Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital begins studies on vitamin D to prevent heart disease
6. Vitamin D, Interferon Alpha Vaccine Show Promise Against Lupus
7. Vitamin D Lacking in Many Spine Surgery Patients
8. Low vitamin D levels do not increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
9. Caucasians who avoid sun exposure more likely to be vitamin D deficient, Stanford study suggests
10. Low vitamin D common in spine surgery patients
11. Vitamin B-based treatment for corneal disease may offer some patients a permanent solution
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Vitamin D Helps Bone Health Only With Calcium: Report
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: