Yet another piece of intriguing health news about our good friend, the sunshine vitamin…also known as vitamin D. Based on a pool of 11 studies, it looks like taking higher doses of vitamin D may give you the biggest protection against bone fractures.
It is no slouch, as it is published in the “New England Journal of Medicine.” Researchers tested doses of vitamin D ranging from 0 to 2,000 International Units (IU) a day. Those taking the most vitamin D sustained 30% fewer hip fractures and 14% fewer fractures of other bones compared to the control groups.
RECOMMENDED: Can Vitamin D Prevent Cancer?
As it turns out, taking between 800 IU and 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist and forearm fractures in both men and women aged 65 and older. Of note, doses of vitamin D below 800 IU per day were of no use in preventing bone fractures.
The results are important to adults, especially those over 65 years of age, whose vulnerability to bone density loss and osteoporosis leave them prone to fractures resulting from thinning bones. The current recommendations are a minimum of 600 IU per day for adults 51-70 and 800 IU for those over 70.
Bone fractures are very dangerous and very costly, and vitamin-D supplements just might be an effective method of protection. Fractures take a long time to heal, take a toll on your quality of life, and afterward you may only regain partial mobility. This can lead to stress and loss of independence.
The researchers say that older adults should take vitamin supplements to help prevent fractures. Typically, adults consume 150 IU per day from food sources such as tuna or salmon or fortified milk. On average, multivitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D, and there are individual vitamin-D supplements with dosages of 400, 800 or 1,000 IU. It is a very good idea for any adult who does not get adequate time in the sun to be taking a supplement each day.
It is not only calcium that could prevent dangerous fractures. Vitamin D goes right along with it and, while it does so, it also protects the body from a litany of other dangerous health issues.