A new study found that calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of broken bones in elderly persons. Previous studies have established that calcium supplements can slow bone loss and increase bone density, and that vitamin D encourages the body’s absorption of calcium. The new study by Dr. Beth Dawson-Hughes et al and published in last Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, is unique in that it shows that calcium can actually prevent fractures from occurring.
In the study, subjects that took calcium supplements were more than 50% less likely to suffer a broken bone after a fall than were subject that did not take calcium supplements. The annual cost of osteoporosis (gradual thinning and weakening of bone tissue) and fractures that are caused by osteoporosis is an estimated $10 billion.