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Vitamin D deficiency increases fracture risk in older adults

Vitamin D supplements could prevent brittle bones but many older adults lack sufficient levels of the vitamin. In a recent survey of older adults who sustained fractures, 64% had deficient vitamin D levels and 90% had insufficient calcium levels. Taking high doses of vitamin D could be an important preventive measure for older adults, a new study suggests.

In the study, high doses of vitamin D reduced the risk of hip fractures in older adults by 30% and the risk non-vertebral fractures by 14%. The meta-analysis differed from previous studies because researchers examined the actual amount of vitamin D participants consumed rather than the amount they were assigned to take. Of the 31,022 adults surveyed, those who took at least 800 IU of vitamin D had the largest reduction in fractures.

Taking vitamin D supplements could improve bone and spinal health, regardless of age. Consult with your chiropractor or health practitioner to determine whether vitamin D supplementation makes sense for you.

Bischoff-Ferrari H, et al. A pooled analysis of vitamin D dose requirements for fracture prevention. N Engl J of Med 2012; 367:40-49.