ASMI says Vitamin D and Calcium supplements can reduce risk of osteoporosis-attributed fractures

21 November 2014

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21 November 2014 - The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said that calcium and vitamin D supplements can play a vital role in preventing osteoporosis and osteoporosis-attributed fractures.

This was in response to the publication of a feature article in Medicine Today, which set out to discuss preventive approaches and the management of patients with fragility fractures or high fracture risk. It endorses calcium and vitamin D as preventive approaches but also recommends other treatment modalities for people with high fracture risk. 1

Steve Scarff, ASMI Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, said: "This article is about preventing further fractures and treating osteoporosis in people with severely low bone density and especially, prior fragility fractures.
"There is a substantial body of research that demonstrates that calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and are of benefit in preventing osteoporosis-attributed fractures," he added. 2,3,4,5,6,7

The Australian Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology state: "Calcium supplementation can reduce the rate of bone loss. Supplementation may also reduce fracture rates. The benefit is most marked in older women with a low dietary calcium intake but without previous fragility fractures. For fracture benefit plasma vitamin D concentration needs to be optimised as well as calcium."8
A recent study by Frost and Sullivan reviewed seven randomised controlled studies that tested for a cause and effect relationship between utilisation of calcium and vitamin D supplements and osteoporosis-attributed bone fractures. The study found that the relative risk reduction of an osteoporosis-attributed fracture event given the use of calcium and vitamin D at preventive intake levels was 19.7%. 9

"Osteoporosis is one of Australia's most debilitating and costly health problems, with approximately 1.2 million Australians affected. Because fracture risk increases with age, postmenopausal women and older individuals need to maintain good bone health through appropriate levels of physical activity and adequate calcium intake and vitamin D levels," explained Mr Scarff.

"Australians who are unsure about their calcium and vitamin D intake are encouraged to talk to a qualified healthcare professional, who can provide advice on ways to monitor and if needed, increase calcium and D levels," he added.

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
P: 9923 9410 M:0408 256 381 E:


1. Selecki, Y. and Eisman, J. Osteoporosis and fragility fractures. A practical approach. Medicine Today, 2014; 15 (11): 18-27.
2. Chapuy, MC., Arlot, ME., Duboeuf, F., Brun, J., Crouzet, B., Arnaud, S., et al., (1992). Vitamin D3 and calcium to prevent hip fractures in the elderly women. N Engl J Med. , 327(23):1637-42.
3. Chapuy, MC., Pamphile, R., Paris, E., Kempf, C., Schlichting, M., Arnaud, S., et al., (2002). Combined calcium and vitamin D3 consumption in elderly women: confirmation of reversal of secondary hyperparathyroidism and hip fracture risk: the Decalyos II study. Osteoporos Int. , 13(3):257-64.
4. Dawson-Hughes, B., Harris, S., Krall, E., & Dallal, G. (1997). Effect of calcium and vitamin D consumption on bone density in men and women 65 years of age or older. N Engl J Med , 337(10):670-6.
5. Grant, A., Avenell, A., Campbell, M., McDonald, A., MacLennan, G., McPherson, G., et al., (2005). Oral vitamin D3 and calcium for secondary prevention of low-trauma fractures in elderly people (Randomised Evaluation of Calcium or vitamin D, RECORD Group): a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet , 365(9471):1621-8.
6. Jackson RD et al., (2006). Women's Health Initiative Investigators: Calcium plus vitamin D consumption and the prevents osteoporotic fractures in elderly community dwelling residents: a pragmatic population-based 3-year intervention study. J Bone Miner Res , 19(3):370-8.
7. Porthouse, J., Cockayne, S., King, C., Saxon, L., Steele, E., Aspray, T., et al., (2005). Randomised controlled trial of calcium and consumption with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) for prevention of fractures in primary care. BMJ , 330(7498):1003.
8. Endocrinology Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: endocrinology. Version 5. Melbourne. Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2014.
9. Shanahan, C and Lorimier,R. Targeted Use of Complementary Medicines: Potential Health Outcomes and Cost Savings in Australia. Frost and Sullivan, October 2014