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Age Ageing. 2012 Sep;41(5):576-80. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afs094. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Who should receive calcium and vitamin D supplementation?

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium.

Abstract

Combined calcium and vitamin D supplementation is recommended in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Until recently, supplementation was perceived as harmless without adverse effects. However, recent meta-analyses have provided evidence suggesting that calcium supplements, whether or not in combination with vitamin D, may be associated with cardiovascular risks. Although this finding constitutes a safety signal that has to be taken seriously, these data have to be interpreted with some caution. Current data do not allow definite conclusions to be drawn, but require further independent confirmation, since in numerous large studies, combined calcium and vitamin D supplementation did not increase cardiovascular events, even in the most frail and elderly populations. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate to correct calcium deficiency preferably by enhancing dietary intake and to target supplementation on individuals at high risk of fracture or in whom calcium and vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent. Other trials have shown an increased risk of falls and fractures with annual oral administration of high dose of vitamin D. Therefore, supplementation with more frequent, lower doses is preferred. Yet, the optimal dosing schedule is unknown and needs further study. In order to correct age-associated secondary hyperparathyroidism and to prevent osteoporotic fractures, a daily dose of 1,000-1,200 mg calcium and 800 IU vitamin D is recommended in elderly or institutionalised people, patients with established osteoporosis and individuals on glucocorticoids.

PMID:
22877606
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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