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Review: High doses vitamin D decreases risk of fracture in older adults

Posted on: July 9, 2012   by  Vitamin D Council


A meta-analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that higher doses of vitamin D do in fact decrease the risk of fracture in older adults.

Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University lead the review of 11 randomized controlled trials examining the effects of vitamin D supplementation on fracture risk in patients 65 and older.

The authors organized participant data into quartiles based on vitamin D intake ranging from 0-2000 IUs/day. They found that participants with the highest vitamin D levels (800-2000 IUs) had a 30% decreased risk of hip fracture and 14% decreased risk of other fractures, when compared to a placebo group.

Dr Dawson-Hughes and colleagues also found that there was no benefit with taking less than 800IUs of vitamin D for fracture prevention.

The authors call attention to the high costs of treating fractures in older adults, while vitamin D is an effective, affordable

Dr Dawson-Hughes and colleagues call for further randomized controlled trials to support their meta-analysis and encourage increasing the recommended dosage for older adults to prevent fractures.


Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. A pooled analysis of vitamin D dose requirements for fracture prevention. The New England Journal of Medicine. July 2012.

Science News: Higher but not lower doses of vitamin D are effective in fracture risk reduction in older adults, study finds. Science Daily. July 5th 2012.

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