Taking Calcium Supplements with Vitamin D Reduces the Risk of Hip Fractures by 40%
As we get older, our bones gradually lose some of their density, which increases the likelihood of incurring hip fractures during a fall. According to a meta-analysis of health record information gleaned from Medicare patients, the incidence rates of hip fracture among women 65 and older is 957 per 100,000. Additionally, this report published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 30 percent of those who fracture their hips die during the year after the injury and those who survive the first year have a 10 percent greater mortality rate than their same age peers. Moreover, those who avoid death are likely to have a significant decrease in their level of functioning in their daily lives1. This evidence points to a clear need for ways to prevent hip fractures. What can you do to avoid a devastating hip fracture?
Evidence that calcium plus vitamin D prevents hip fractures
A 2012 study published in the journal Osteoporosis International examined and analyzed the data from 38,282 women that participated in the Women’s Health Initiative. This was double- blind, placebo-controlled longitudinal study, which is the gold standard in terms of clinical trials. The women who participated in this research study range in age from 50 to 79 years. The investigators randomly assigned the participants to one of two groups. The control group just received a placebo, while the women in the experimental group took a supplement with 1000 mg of elemental calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D3.
The results of this study are significant for those who want to decrease their risk of hip fractures. The researchers found that women who took the supplements with calcium and vitamin D reduced their risk of hip fractures by as much as 40 percent. Additionally, these women also had a decreased risk of invasive colon and breast cancers2.
Sources of calcium with vitamin D
To reduce your risk of hip fractures, make sure to include plenty of dairy products in your diet, such as milk and yogurt that are rich in calcium and are frequently fortified with vitamin D. Other sources of these nutrients include fish such as salmon and tuna. If you are not getting enough of these foods in your diet, taking a calcium supplement with vitamin D is highly recommended3.
1Brauer CA, Cutler DM, Coca-Perraillon M, Rosen AB. Incidence and Mortality of Hip Fractures in the United States. JAMA. 2009; 302(14):1573-1579.
2Prentice RL, et al. Health Risks and Benefits from Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation: Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trial and Cohort Study. Osteoporosis International. 2012.
3National Institute of Health. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium. Retrieved from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-QuickFacts/