Studies: Calcium, vitamin D supplements do not prevent fractures

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Two studies indicate that taking vitamin D and calcium supplements is not effective in preventing fractures.

Researchers in Scotland prescribed vitamin D, calcium, a combination of the two or a placebo to more than 5,292 people over the age of 70 with osteoporosis who had previously suffered a broken wrist, arm or hip. They found that supplements were as effective as placebos, according to a study published in the April 29 edition of British medical journal The Lancet.

A total of 698 study subjects suffered a new fracture. Those taking supplements had the same results as those in the placebo group. While researchers suspected compliance might have been low, they still concluded that the supplements did not prevent further fractures.

Another study by British doctors also found that taking calcium and vitamin D supplements does not prevent fractures. This study focused on 3,314 women age 70 and older who suffered previous fractures, had a low body weight, were smokers or in poor overall health. Results were published in the British Medical Journal.