By Michael A. Smith, MDnegative studies out there, that’s only because those are the studies that the mainstream media disseminate.
There are actually many positive studies. And here’s one of them that looked at vitamin D, calcium and death rates in older Americans.
Lower Death Rate with Two Popular NutrientsThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism will publish in their August issue a new study looking at calcium, vitamin D and death in older Americans. What they found was that those consistently taking the two nutrients had lower death rates than those that don’t take them.
Keep in mind, that this study follows a report by an expert U.S. health panel that suggested older women should avoid taking low dose vitamin D and calcium because there’s no evidence of any benefit.
The researchers publishing the results of this new study looked at over 70,000 older Americans. The people involved were followed on average for three years. And during this timeframe, the people taking vitamin D and calcium were less likely to die than people who didn’t take them. By the way, most of the supplement users took 400 or 800 IU of vitamin D a day and 1,000 milligrams of calcium.1
No one really knows the reason for the lower death rate. But here’s something interesting: the researchers don’t think it’s simply about a reduction in long-bone or hip fractures. The authors note that when older, post-menopausal women fracture a long-bone or hip, there’s a significant mortality associated with the trauma. But in their analysis the reduced death rate seems to be from a different cause.
Some doctors in our industry might suggest that it’s really just from vitamin D. It’s been linked to a lower risk for colorectal cancers and several other cancers in some studies, even though the research is far from conclusive. But it remains an interesting hypothesis.
The lead researcher, Dr. Lars Rejnmarkk, told WebMD, "It seems that calcium with vitamin D has benefits for general health, but we need more studies to understand this association.” We couldn’t agree more.
Where’s the Media?Is this a perfect study? By no means. It has its limitations, but so do most of the studies highlighted by the media. So here’s our question: Why didn’t mainstream media pick up this story? It can’t be because it’s not interesting. This study shows a reduction in death in people taking two very popular nutrients. That’s pretty big news! So what’s going?
Maybe it goes completely against the U.S. expert panel. You know the one that said vitamin D and calcium don’t do anything for you. And we can’t have the media disseminating information that is counter to our “experts,” now can we?
We have suggested for some time that all women, especially post-menopausal women, supplement with calcium and vitamin D. And we stand by our suggestion. So help us out — share this story with your friends, since the media probably won’t!
- Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, August 2012.
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