Calcium+D Pills, No Benefit?
The debate about calcium and vitamin D supplements continues. The United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued a statement saying: "The USPSTF concludes that evidence is lacking regarding the benefit of vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium . . . The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that daily supplementation with ≤400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate has no net benefit for the primary prevention of osteoporotic fractures . . .The USPSTF concludes that evidence is lacking regarding the benefit of vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, for the primary prevention of cancer and osteoporotic fractures, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined."
On the other hand, data from the landmark Women's Health Initiative study indicated that women on supplements had a lower risk for fractures. Given the controversy, the task force recommends that large randomized trials "are needed to determine if vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, reduces breast cancer incidence in women, prostate cancer incidence in men, or overall cancer mortality. Studies are needed to evaluate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on diverse populations. Because most fracture prevention studies are of white women, who have the highest risk for osteoporotic fractures, it is difficult to extrapolate results to secondary outcomes, such as cancer, in nonwhite populations."
In the meantime, most experts say your best bet – unless you have lactose intolerance – is to get plenty of dairy foods in your diet. Dark green veggies provide some calcium as well. And count on your body to make your vitamin D. See our related ThirdAge story here: http://www.thirdage.com/health-wellness/hormone-fights-skin-infections