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Vitamin D Combined With Calcium May Cut Fracture Risk

Last Updated: January 13, 2010.

A combination of vitamin D and calcium significantly reduces the risk of fractures, but supplementation with the vitamin alone does not, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in BMJ.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of vitamin D and calcium significantly reduces the risk of fractures, but supplementation with the vitamin alone does not, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in BMJ.

Bo Abrahamsen, M.D., of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from seven major randomized trials of vitamin D or vitamin D with calcium, comprising 68,517 participants aged 47 to 107 years.

The risk of fracture overall, and hip fracture specifically, was significantly lower for those taking a daily dose of 10 µg vitamin D with 1,000 mg of calcium, but there was no impact on the risk of fracture in the studies using 10 to 20 µg of vitamin D per day alone, the researchers found. Age, sex and interaction with hormone replacement therapy did not affect the findings.

"We must emphasize that this analysis does not allow for a direct comparison of vitamin D against vitamin D given with calcium, but only comparisons between each intervention and no treatment," the authors write. "Whether intermittent doses of vitamin D given without calcium supplements can reduce the risk of fractures remains unresolved from the studies in this analysis."

Several authors reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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