Tuesday March 20, 2018

Calcium, Vitamin D are not harmful for older adults

Calcium, Vitamin D are not harmful for older adults
Calcium, Vitamin D are not harmful for older adults. wikimedia commons

New Delhi, Dec 27, 2017:  After a study by researchers in China claimed that supplements containing calcium, vitamin D or both may not protect older adults against bone fractures, doctors in India have said that these supplements are not harmful for people at risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.

“There is no harm in giving calcium and vitamin D supplements to women after menopause who may be at increased risk of osteoporosis,” Pradeep Sharma, Head of Orthopaedics at BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi told IANS in a telephonic conversation.

The study, by researchers in China and published in the journal JAMA, involved data from more than 50,000 adults who were over 50 years of age.

They were participants in 33 randomised clinical trials comparing supplement use — calcium, vitamin D or both — with placebo or no treatment and new fractures.

Jia-Guo Zhao of Tianjin Hospital in China, and co-authors did a meta-analysis of the studies.

A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies identified in a systematic review and quantitatively summarises the overall association between the same exposure (supplements containing calcium, vitamin D or both) and outcomes (fracture) across all studies.

The researchers found that supplements were not associated with less risk for new fractures, regardless of the dose, the sex of the patient, their fracture history, calcium intake in their diet or baseline vitamin D blood concentrations.

“These findings do not support the routine use of these supplements (containing calcium, vitamin D, or both) in community-dwelling older adults,” the study said.

Responding to the findings, Sharma said that while doctors should guard against rampantly prescribing these supplements to anyone, those older adults with weaker bones can be given these supplements.

He said that there are tests to find out the extent of weakness in the bones, and supplements can be prescribed at the right dose after proper assessment.

“Usually, an orthopaedic recommends a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplement to the older adults because both the combinations are two major nutrients to the bone health. Unfortunately, seniors are much vulnerable to calcium and vitamin D deficiency as compared to younger people because of the changes that occur with advancing age,” said Avtar Singh, an orthopaedic surgeon at Amandeep Hospital in Amritsar, Punjab.

“Vitamin D and calcium are necessary for better bone health and we often prescribe these in the form of supplements. However, it is always more beneficial to take these in the diet forms,” said Aashish Chaudhry, an orthopedic surgeon at Aakash Healthcare in New Delhi.

“Vitamin D helps body to use calcium. This in turn helps bolster bone health,” Chaudhry said.

People who have achieved their peak bone mass can also follow few exercises and a healthy diet routine to lower the risk of brittle bones and fracture, according to the experts.

While sunlight is considered the best source for vitamin D, some vegetables can also help boost the level of this vitamin.

“The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for most adults is 600 IU (international units), or 800 IU after age 70. It is hard to expect from older people to do enough regular exercise and get adequate sunshine or even adjust their diet accordingly. Hence, it is advisable to take these supplements,” Chaudhry said. (IANS)

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Maternal Deficiency Of Vitamin D May Up Childhood Obesity Risk

Children born to mothers with very low Vitamin D levels during their first trimester are likely to have bigger waists or be about half an inch plumper on average by age six

Larger waistline can lead to obesity as well as anxiety in women. Pixabay
Larger waistline can lead to obesity as well as anxiety in women. Pixabay

Babies born to women who suffered from Vitamin D deficiency during their pregnancy are more likely to develop obesity in childhood as well as in adulthood, a study has found.

Children born to mothers with very low Vitamin D levels during their first trimester are likely to have bigger waists or be about half an inch plumper on average by age six.

“These increases may not seem like much, but we’re not talking about older adults who have about 30 percent body fat,” said Vaia Lida Chatzi, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California in the US.

ALSO READ: Calcium, Vitamin D are not harmful for older adults

“Even a half-inch increase in waist circumference is a big deal, especially if you project this fat surplus across their lifespan,” Chatzi added.

These kids also had two percent more body fat, than peers whose mothers had enough Vitamin D in early pregnancy. Pixabay

About 95 percent of the Vitamin D produced in your body comes from sunshine, Chatzi said.

The remaining five percent is derived from eggs, fatty fish, fish liver oil and fortified foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and cereal.

ALSO READ: Vitamin D can helpful in Recovery from Burn Injuries

For the study, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, the team examined 532 mother-child pairs, whereby maternal Vitamin D concentrations were measured during the first prenatal visit.

The results showed that about 66 percent of the pregnant women had insufficient Vitamin D in the first trimester — a critical period for organ development.

Chatzi said, “Optimal vitamin D levels in pregnancy could protect against childhood obesity, but more research is needed to confirm our findings. Vitamin D supplements in early pregnancy is an easy fix to protect future.” (IANS)