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.”
“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.