USPSTF: Calcium, Vitamin D Not Recommended to Prevent Fractures

Daily dietary supplementation with 400 IU or less of Vitamin D and 1,000 mg or less of calcium does not prevent risk of fracture in postmenopausal women.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a recommendation advising against daily supplementation with 400 IU or less of vitamin D and 1,000 mg or less of calcium for the primary prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women. The task force, on the other hand, could not assess on the strength of evidence available the balance of benefits and harms for taking vitamin D and calcium supplements at higher doses for fracture prevention in this population. The statement was published online today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In addition, the task force stated that there is not enough evidence to support the use of these two supplements combined for the prevention of fractures in men and premenopausal women.

Although the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization have both issued recommendations for adequate daily intake of calcium and vitamin D, these organizations addressed them in the setting of overall health, and not one specific to fracture prevention, the researchers explained.

The USPSTF statement emphasized that the recommendations apply only to the population studied: community-dwelling adults with no history of fractures, and that includes adults, ages 65 and older, who are at increased risk for falls. The panel also notes that the recommendation against supplementation with vitamin D and calcium does not apply to adults with osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency.

The full study is available here.

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