World Osteoporosis Day: Calcium and vitamin D for bone health
The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said today's World Osteoporosis Day shines the spotlight on calcium and vitamin D and the vital role they play in preventing osteoporosis.
Steve Scarff, ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, said: "There is a substantial body of research that demonstrates vitamin D, in combination with calcium, can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and is of benefit in preventing osteoporosis-attributed fractures1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
"Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium effectively, which is important for bone health and muscle function and for preventing conditions such as osteoporosis. Sufficient vitamin D intake is particularly important in low-light conditions, as the body's ability to synthesise the compound is dependent on exposure to sunlight8.
"Older adults are recommended to have at least 10 to 15 micrograms of vitamin D per day in their diet. However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly a quarter of Australians, or one in four people, have a vitamin D deficiency9,10.
"The 2011-13 Australian Health Survey found that one in twenty people used a vitamin D supplement and that vitamin D deficiency was much lower in those who took a supplement. For people who aren't obtaining adequate vitamin D from natural sources such as sunlight, supplementation is a highly effective way to fill the gap10.
The Australian Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinologystate: "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 calcium11,"he added.
A recent study by Frost and Sullivan reviewed seven randomised controlled studies that tested for a cause and effect relationship between utilisation of vitamin D and calcium supplements and osteoporosis-attributed bone fractures. The study found that the relative risk reduction of an osteoporosis-attributed fracture event given the use of vitamin D and calcium at preventive intake levels was 19.7% 12.
"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 vitamin D levels," concluded Mr Scarff.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avenell A, Mak JCS, O'Connell D. Vitamin D and vitamin D an analogues for preventing fractures in post-menopausal women and older men (Review), Cochrane Collaboration, 2014.
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products - Integrative Medicine. http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/about-herbs-botanicals-other-products. January 2013.
- NHMRC. Nutrient Reference Value - Australia and New Zealand. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/n35-n36-n37
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Nutrients, 2011-12. 15/4/14. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4364.0.55.006main+features12011-12
- Endocrinology Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology. Version 5. Melbourne. Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2014.
- Shanahan, C and Lorimier,R. Targeted Use of Complementary Medicines: Potential Health Outcomes and Cost Savings in Australia. Frost and Sullivan, October 2014.