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Hip Fracture Risk & Vitamin D3/Calcium

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Dear Dr. Levister: My mother is 70. She recently fractured her hip. Does taking Vitamin D3 with calcium help prevent fractures? C.A.

Dear C.A.: Vitamin D3, (cholecalciferol), is necessary for retaining bone density and for maintaining the body's immunity against cancers, heart disease, diabetes, weakness, muscle wasting and osteoporosis, among other disorders.

Like all variations in the Vitamin D family, it is actually a hormone, produced naturally in the body. Vitamin D3 aids in the body's absorption of calcium, needed for bone density. Supplemental dosages of the vitamin may decrease the severity of osteoporosis and high blood pressure in the elderly and postmenopausal women who do not receive adequate exposure to the sun. Although very few foods contain Vitamin D3, it is readily available through the absorption of the sun's rays.

An adequate Vitamin D intake is associated with a lower risk of osteoporotic hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Neither milk nor a high-calcium diet appears to reduce risk. Because women commonly consume less than the recommended intake of Vitamin D, supplement use or dark fish consumption may be prudent.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle cramps, weakness and tingling, a loss of height. People at risk for Vitamin D deficiency include darkskinned people, people who live in northern climates, people who work indoors or who do not get adequate exposure to the sun, infants who are breastfeed, and older adults.

D deficiency may also be linked to the development of hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of cancer. Few foods offer adequate Vitamin D3 but fish, cod liver oil and eggs provide small amounts of the hormone.

Fortunately, supplements offer an alternative way to increase the body's Vitamin D3 levels.

The risk of taking too much supplemental Vitamin D3 is very low. In fact, a person would need to consume large quantities of Vitamin D3, over a period of weeks, before reaching a toxic level. Spending a few hours per week in the sunshine with only light sunscreen will provide all the Vitamin D3 you need through the natural absorption of ultraviolet rays. If sun exposure is not an option, supplement your diet with calcium and Vitamin D3.

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0 # Guest 2010-07-26 06:43
Hi, I'm a veterinarian from Brazil and I'm interested in calcium black for horses and vitamin D3. I would like to know where i can buy them in Brazil or US.
Thank you

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