Do Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements Deserve the Hype?

A review of current research says these vitamins may not prevent fractures

The addition of 400 IU of vitamin D and 1000 mg of calcium to a healthy diet will not lower the risk of fractures in young women, men, or post-menopausal women, according to a research review by The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

After looking through the studies, the USPSTF decided that studies are too inconclusive to support this type of regular supplement use. However, the task force did give an important disclaimer:

“It’s important to keep in mind that the presumption is that the people we are talking about here do not have known bone disease, they don’t have osteoporosis and they are not vitamin D deficient,” task force chair Dr. Virginia Moyer told Time. “This is supplemental, so this is above and beyond getting what the expert consensus is for what you should be getting every day.”

For the assessment, the USPSTF commissioned two reviews of available studies and a meta-analysis on vitamin D supplementation with and without calcium to evaluate any benefits of the supplements on bone health and any adverse effects.

Based on the findings, the task force concluded that supplementation of less than 400 IU of vitamin D and less than 1,000 mg of calcium is unnecessary for healthy individuals who get calcium and vitamin D through their diet and healthy exposure to sunlight.

The panel did not find sufficient evidence of the benefits of supplements greater than 400 IU of Vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium. However they did identify certain risks of overdose, including the possibility of kidney stones and other conditions.

The task force recommends more research on varying doses of these supplements.

Via Time.