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Experts commonly recommend that older adults consider blood testing to measure vitamin D levels and instruct patients to take calcium and vitamin D supplements if levels are low. It was believed that this could help prevent fractures However, a government panel has recommended against using these supplements for the prevention of fractures.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently published new draft recommendations stating that there is little clinical evidence to support the use of low-dose vitamin D and calcium supplements for the prevention of fractures. However, the nutrients may carry a risk of side effects, such as kidney stones.
For these reasons the group said individuals should not use calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures. The recommendation is likely to cause controversy, as these two nutrients have long been considered staples in the prevention of weak bones.
However, it is important to note that the recommendations do not say that vitamin D and calcium are ineffective when it comes to preventing fractures. The authors of the report said evidence is lacking and more research needs to be conducted to develop a more complete understanding of the effects of these nutrients on bone health.
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