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Vitamin D and calcium supplementation could save Europe nearly €4 billion in healthcare costs

Posted on: February 28, 2017   by  Vitamin D Council

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A recent study, conducted by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by Food Supplements Europe, examined the burden of healthcare costs on Europe as a result of bone fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.

Within the EU, 27.8 million individuals over the age of 55 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. From this group of individuals, approximately €26.4 billion is spent every year on treatment of injuries resulting from osteoporosis.

Researchers recently explored whether vitamin D and calcium may reduce costs of osteoporosis and related injuries. They reviewed existing data regarding vitamin D and calcium supplementation and the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures in individuals over the age of 55.

This is what they found:

There was a 15% reduction in risk of osteoporosis-related injuries when individuals supplemented with 1,000 mg calcium and 15 mcg (600 IU) vitamin D daily. According to reports, this reduction in risk could prevent approximately 186,690 osteoporosis-related fractures per year, which could save the healthcare industry nearly €4 billion annually.

Food Supplements Europe Chair, Ingrid Atteryd, stated:

“Over several decades, a significant amount of clinical research has been conducted showing that the daily use of calcium and vitamin D food supplements is highly correlated to a lower risk of experiencing an osteoporosis attributed fracture. This new analysis, for the first time, demonstrates that more widespread supplementation with these nutrients could also save many billions of euros in avoidable healthcare costs.”

She continued:

“Educating target consumers to understand the benefits of calcium and vitamin D, through official advice at both EU and national level, and via healthcare professionals in the media, could deliver major benefits in both wellbeing and financial terms.”

It is important to acknowledge the small dose of vitamin D the researchers used to increase vitamin D levels. The Vitamin D Council suggests daily doses of 5,000 IU vitamin D3 to bring your vitamin D levels to optimum status.

Cost of dealing with bone fractures could plunge with wider use of calcium + vitamin D supplements. Food Supplements Europe, 2017.

4 Responses to Vitamin D and calcium supplementation could save Europe nearly €4 billion in healthcare costs

  1. hlahore@gmail.com

    In 2014 the same group, Foster and Sullivan said that 800 IU of vitamin D (plus Calcium, etc) would save the US (instead of Europe) $2 Billion annually JUST due to reductions in fractures. Highlights and full study is at http://vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=6011

  2. JA Larson

    The larger issue is that osteoporosis is a malnutrition disease (20 nutrients) exacerbated by a lack of weight bearing exercise.

    Bones are living tissue that act like an organ (bone marrow makes blood) and only gets bigger and stronger with load (just like muscles).

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.1647/abstract

    “Bone can be imagined as being somewhat like a sponge made of living protein upon which mineral crystals are embedded. By volume, roughly half of bone is comprised of protein. When a fracture occurs, the body is called upon to gather protein building blocks together to synthesize a new structural bone protein matrix. In addition, protein supplementation increases growth factors like insulin‐like growth factor‐1 (IGF‐1), a polypeptide that exerts a positive effect on skeletal integrity, muscle strength, immune response, and bone renewal.4 Protein malnutrition or under‐nutrition leads to a “rubbery” callus, compared to the rigid calluses of those with adequate or high protein intake. Numerous studies document the acceleration of fracture healing with even a modest 10‐ to 20‐gram increase in protein intake. The benefits of supplemental protein are important to everyone and especially important to those with malnutrition or low baseline protein intake. In fact, among elderly hip fracture patients, poor protein status at the time of fracture predicts fracture outcome. Those with low protein status take longer to heal, and have more complications, including death.”

  3. mike

    i would be interested if this study considered the evidence/studies that K2 MK7 combined with D3 and Calcium suggesting that calcium and D3 alone puts people at greater risk of heart disease i.e less fractures more heart disease. Or if that K2 studies should be taken seriously.

  4. rcbaker200@comcast.net

    I’ve tested over 12000 people for a 25-hydroxyvitamin d level over 12 years. If a person is below ideal levels to start, chances are almost 100% they are still below ideal levels taking 600 units. It only raises the level very little. MOST adults (unless very thin) over 50 need 5000 units a day (with proper follow up with levels) to maintain a level over 32 ng (48 nMol) and certain to achieve a level from 40 to 60 ng (100 to 150 nMol.) As far as calcium goes, studies show calcium supplements increase the rate of heart attacks. With an ideal vitamin D level, the diet should supply enough calcium. Countries that don’t take calcium supplements near equator have extremely low osteoporosis rates.. Many patients in America who get osteoporosis and fractures are NOT underweight or malnourished. Robert Baker MD

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