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Stress fractures are a relatively common problem among girls, particularly those who participate in high-impact activities. However, a blood test for vitamin D levels may help protect girls from this problem, as new research suggests that higher levels of the nutrient make girls less likely to experience a stress fracture.
For the study, researchers from Children's Hospital in Boston examined the medical records of nearly 7,000 girls who were between the ages of 9 and 15 and tracked their health over a seven-year period.
The results showed that individuals who consumed more dairy and calcium were not necessarily protected from fractures, as the researchers had thought. However, those who consumed more vitamin D were much less likely to experience a stress fracture, even if they participated in high-impact sports.
The researchers said their findings indicate that girls should follow nutritional recommendations for vitamin D intake, which suggest consuming between 400 and 600 international units of the nutrient each day. The present study only looked at vitamin D consumption from foods, so it is not clear if supplements provide the same kind of protection.
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