Vitamin D can help lower the risk of bone fracture, according to a new study released Wednesday. But you have to take a very high dose of the vitamin for it to be effective.
The research in the New England Journal of Medicine re-analyzed 11 clinical trials of more than 31,000 people older than 64.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board, which sets the recommended daily allowances you see on food packaging, people over 70 should consume 800 international units of vitamin D a day.
The study showed that taking less than that amount per day had no effect on bone-fracture risk. But when the participants took 800 units or more, their risk of hip fracture was lowered by 30 percent and the risk of other bone fractures by 14 percent.
Previous studies of vitamin D supplements have returned mixed results.
Just last month, a panel of independent experts that advises the federal government on preventive care issued draft guidelines saying there is too little evidence to recommend vitamin D supplements for the prevention of bone fractures.
People can also get Vitamin D from nature. It's in many fortified foods, and sunlight spurs the body to produce the vitamin.
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