The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released a statement on Wednesday saying that postmenopausal women should avoid low doses of vitamin D and calcium because they are not effective in preventing bone fractures. The side effects could be a lot bigger as women could develop kidney stones.
After performing a review on 19 randomized controlled trials, scientists have found out that supplementing a postmenopausal woman’s diet with small doses of vitamin D and calcium is not at all effective. The supplements were supposed to prevent women from getting fractured bones, but the doses of 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium are too small to make any difference. In fact, they produce more damage than benefits as women could develop kidney stones.
Silvina Levis, of the Osteoporosis Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida told reporters that doctors were aware the dose was too small. Their fears have been confirmed through the recent tests, so scientists recommend doses bigger than 600 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium every day only for women who are prone to bone fractures. In their opinion, both men and women should receive supplements, but the exact recommendations should vary depending on sex and age.
Scientists have also stated that the recent tests enable them to determine the extent to which a supplement is beneficial for a person or not. They have, thus, reached the conclusion that the habit of administering small doses to elderly women is not at all healthy. However, there are doctors who reject the idea of administering bigger quantities of vitamin D and calcium per day because they think the benefits are still small.
The studies are only valid for postmenopausal women who need to take supplements each day. The rest of the people can freely use supplements in their diet and eat healthy products that contain vitamin D and calcium.