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Consistent Vitamin D Supplementation Linked to Lower Risk of Fractures

As we age, our bones become more fragile and the risk of fractures increases. A team of researchers analyzed 12 studies and found that consistent, daily supplementation of at least 800 IUs of vitamin D may help prevent dangerous fractures.

For their analysis, they looked at how much vitamin D the participants were actually taking rather than how much they were assigned to take. They found a 30% reduction in the chance of hip fracture and a 14% reduced risk of nonvertebral fractures for the individuals regularly taking 792 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D.

When examining risk reduction based solely on the levels of vitamin D the participants were supposed to take for the studies, they found only a 10% reduction in the risk of hip fractures and a 7% reduction in the risk of nonvertebral fracture.

The analysis included 30,011 participants in 12 studies. All of the studies included people over the age of 65 who were taking oral vitamin D, sometimes with calcium and sometimes without.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University Hospital in Zurich. Their findings were published in The New England Journal of Medicine on July 5, 2012.

Vitamin D, sometimes referred to as “the sunshine vitamin,” has been associated with a wide range of health benefits, including improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Dietary vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. This can be a particular problem for people living in the northern hemisphere, where sunlight is scarce for much of the year. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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