A new study from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is telling older women that all of that vitamin D and calcium supplements they’ve been taking in order to strengthen their bones, lessen pain from bone-weakening osteoporosis, and prevent broken bones isn’t doing much good.
In fact, findings from the study based on two reviews of past research, reveal there’s not enough evidence to support whether vitamin D and calcium do anything to help elderly women—or really anyone at all!
The shocking results do much to stifle the popular recommendations for approximately half of all women over 50 years old who will end up with osteoporosis, a bone-weakening condition that often leads to broken bones, chronic pain, disability and early death for elderly women.
This particular study was based on the review of two previous health studies. It found that there were zero no benefits for the following groups:
- No benefits for post-menopausal women taking low-dose vitamin D and calcium supplements (less than 400 international units and 1,000 milligrams) to prevent osteoporosis.
- No benefits for older women taking low-dose supplements to prevent broken bones—however, it slightly increased the risk of developing kidney stones.
- No adequate evidence or benefits to recommend higher doses of vitamin D or calcium for older women, younger women or men.
“[We’ve believed] calcium and vitamin D are important in general health and bone health,” says Dr. Jessica Herzstein, a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. “We’re not saying don’t take it, we’re just saying we don’t know enough.”
Dr. Herzstein adds that patients already diagnosed with osteoporosis, as well as those with a history of fractures and/or living in an assisted-living community should continue with the treatments recommended by their doctors.