The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force analyzed studies on the effects of vitamin D and calcium pills on bone strength (Annals of Internal Medicine, published online February 26, 2013). They found no evidence that pills containing 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium help prevent bone fractures. They advise healthy older women not to take these low doses of calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures. Half of post-menopausal women will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes.
HIGHER DOSES? Studies on higher doses of calcium and vitamin D are contradictory and therefore, they do not have data to make recommendation for high dose calcium and vitamin D pills.
Calcium is necessary to keep bones strong and vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium. We have no data to show that taking calcium pills, by themselves, helps to prevent or treat osteoporosis or fractures. Calcium pills can increase risk for kidney stones. In some people, calcium pills can raise blood calcium levels. This can cause irregular heartbeats including atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, and sudden death from a heart attack (see the report below).
Vitamin D is necessary for everyone. Food will not provide enough vitamin D to keep you healthy. 1000 to 2000 IU daily is adequate for most people who do not get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week.
MY RECOMMENDATIONS: To keep bones strong, you should eat a healthful diet, exercise, and try to get at least 15 minutes a day of sun exposure. If your blood level of hydroxy Vitamin D is below 75 nmol/L, you may need to take vitamin D pills or get more sunlight. Instead of taking calcium pills, eat calcium-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, sardines and low- fat dairy products.
Recent ArticlesEleanor Roosevelt's Doctors Vindicated 40 Years after Her Death
September 20th, 2019
Low Vitamin B12 May Increase Risk for Bleeding Strokes
September 20th, 2019
Recovery: the Key to Improvement in Your Sport
September 15th, 2019
Strengthen Bones with Weight Training
September 14th, 2019
Keto Diets Increase Risk for Fatty Liver
September 12th, 2019