Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation for Bone Fractures? – U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reports

November 2nd, 2013

calciumI don’t know whether I should be happy, furious or frustrated

Choosing to subscribe to the concept of “better late than never,” I choose happy with a pinch of frustration.

You are probably right now asking yourself what the “h” is he talking about?

I’m talking about the advice that 95 % or more of physicians give to their patients about preventing bone fractures, and that is “Take at least 1,000-1,500 mg per day of calcium and add vitamin D as well”.

For almost 2 decades I have been telling everyone who would listen, that taking high amounts of calcium will not only not prevent or decrease your risk of bone fractures but also might increase your risk of calcification of your heart and arteries.

Now, finally the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued final recommendations on vitamin D and Calcium supplementation to prevent fractures. Their findings support what I have forever been saying:

(1)    There is not enough evidence to determine whether vitamin D and calcium supplements can prevent fractures in men and in women who have not yet gone through menopause.

(2)    There is not enough evidence to determine whether vitamin D and calcium supplements at larger doses can prevent fractures in older women.

(3)    Lower doses of vitamin D and calcium do not prevent fractures in older women and may increase the risk of kidney stones.

Though I’m glad that a governmental organization has finally reported on the lack of proven efficacy of taking ridiculously high amounts of daily calcium, I wish they had gone further and mentioned the possibility that excessive calcium intake my cause heart and artery calcification (hardening of the arteries).

I would think that the question on the mind of many of you reading this article would be….”So what do I do if bone fractures are of concern to me (because you’ve already had one or more fractures or fractures seem to run in your family)?

The answer is take magnesium (at least 300 mg/day) and a combination product of vitamin K-1 and K-2 (with at least 100 mcg of each form which is easily available in most health food stores) and at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.  (take more if your measured vitamin D level is below 50 ng/ml)

For more in depth information on this subject you can read my previous articles by clicking the links below.

Yours in safety and optimal health,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N.  C.N.S.

P.S.  If you would like to read the release from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force please click on the link below.

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/vitamind/vitdfact.pdf

 

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