Vitamin D and Calcium May Not Prevent Bone Fractures in Older Adults

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The science on vitamin D and calcium’s ability to bolster bone strength and density in older adults has volleyed back and forth for years.

But in recent news, researchers have found supplements don’t seem to lower the risk of bone fractures in men and women 50 and older, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

MORE: Is Vitamin D Overhyped?

The researchers assessed data from 33 randomized placebo-controlled trials, including over 51,000 participants. The study looked at vitamin D and calcium together and separately, compared to control groups, to see if supplements influenced instances of hip fractures.

The data showed supplements didn’t lower the risk of hip fractures.

However, the study authors admit there were some caveats. Researchers didn’t check participants’ blood for baseline vitamin D levels, if there was a family history of osteoporosis, or previous bone breaks.

What’s more, if you’re under 50, you should still get your fill of vitamin D- and calcium-rich foods. Even if it’s not guaranteed they can bulletproof your bones for high-impact activities, like ultramarathons, skiing, and snowboarding, the vitamins and nutrients are crucial for strong teeth, mental sharpness, and fuller, thicker hair.

Check out the 10 best ways to keep your bones healthy, too.