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Calcium-Vitamin D Combo For Reduced Fracture Risk

The importance of calcium and vitamin D in bone development and teeth// strengthening is well known. Children are fed loads of milk and other milk products to supply the body with this vital nutrient. Vitamin D is produced in the body itself by exposure to sunlight and so children are exposed to sunlight too. So much so that parents want their children to play outdoors and gain in the so very important vitamin, which is free in nature! All this is done to save them from fractures in old age. Accumulated calcium and vitamin D will take care then too. This is called advance planning.

Recent researches now confirm that even if the combination of calcium and vitamin D is provided during old age, risk of fractures can be marginally reduced. The limitation of the study is that this result is limited to aged people living in nursing homes or other institutions.

“Frail older people confined to institutions appear to experience a reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures if given vitamin D with calcium supplements,” writes Alison Avenell, M.D., of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and her colleagues. Vitamin D alone and calcium alone does not appear to have any effect on reducing the risk of fracture.

In a review of 38 randomized or quasi-randomized trials, the risk of fractures of the hip and other non-spinal bones was reduced slightly if vitamin D and calcium were given. However, the risk of spinal fractures did not appear to be reduced. Synthetic vitamin D in drugs such as calcitriol (Rocaltrol) did not appear to have any advantage in preventing bone fracture and may be more likely to cause adverse reactions than natural vitamin D, the review reports.

Studies have shown that one-third to one-half of all women in Europe and North America over the age of 75 have vertebral fractures. The findings of this review apply only to patients who live in nursing homes or residential care facilities. “It remains unclear whethe
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