Swiss researchers believe that vitamin D supplementation of at least 400 international units per day (IUD) reduces risk of certain bone fractures in older people.
The conclusions, presented by scientists from the University of Zurich, are based on a meta-analysis of 12 previous clinical trials of oral vitamin D supplements in adults age 65 or older, and apply to non-vertebral fractures, including eight trials specifically studying hip fractures.
The overview has yielded insights which suggest that vitamin D supplements decreased the risk of non-vertebral fractures by 14 percent and of hip fractures by 9 percent. At higher doses – exceeding 400 IUD – this type of supplementation was found to reduce non-vertebral fractures by 20 percent and hip fractures by 18 percent.
The authors published their analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine where they wrote that "[the results suggest] that higher doses of vitamin D should be explored in future research to optimize anti-fracture efficacy."
"Also, it is possible that greater benefits may be achieved with earlier initiation of vitamin D supplementation and longer duration of use," they added.
A significant decrease in fracture risk was also noted among participants whose blood serum levels of vitamin D achieved a greater increase.