April 6, 2018 – Fall Prevention


Anchor lead: Can vitamin D help prevent broken bones in older people? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Are you taking vitamin D? This vitamin has been the media’s darling for a few years now, but research hasn’t borne out its helpfulness in bone health and prevention of bone fractures in older people. Rita Kalyani, an endocrinologist at Johns Hopkins and one investigator in a trial underway to get to the bottom of this issue, describes what previous research has found.

Kalyani: Neither calcium nor vitamin D nor the combination significantly reduced the risk of fractures. There’s been some discussion that perhaps there could be different effects of the dose that was prescribed, that they didn’t have enough follow up time to see true differences, maybe participants weren’t taking the therapies as consistently as they should so we didn’t see the effect, and importantly vitamin D levels were not necessarily measured after the therapy to know if there was true improvement in vitamin D levels.  :29

Kalyani hopes more rigorous study will help determine if this important public health issue for older people can be helped with vitamin D supplements. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.