Can calcium, or calcium in combination with vitamin D, be used to prevent fracture and osteoporotic bone loss?
From: The Lancet
- Tang, B.M., Eslick, G.D., Nowson, C., Smith, C., Bensoussan, A., 2007. Use of calcium or calcium in combination with vitamin D supplementation to prevent fractures and bone loss in people aged 50 years and older: a meta-analysis. The Lancet 370, 657–666.
- 29 trials with 63,897 participants.
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.
- Treatment was associated with a 12% risk reduction in fractures of all types.
- Treatment was associated with a reduced rate of bone loss of 0.54% at the hip and 1.19% in the spine.
- The fracture risk reduction was significantly greater (24%) in trials in where the compliance rate was high.
- The treatment effect was better with calcium doses of 1200 mg or more than with doses less than 1200 mg, and with vitamin D doses of 800 IU or more than with doses less than 800 IU.
- Yes (with confidence)
- The authors conclude that for the best therapeutic effect, they recommend minimum doses of 1200 mg of calcium, and 800 IU of vitamin D (for combined calcium plus vitamin D supplementation).