Abstracted by Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, June 25, 2012, from “Vitamin D with Calcium Reduces Mortality: Patient Level Pooled Analysis of 70,528 Patients from Eight Major Vitamin D Trials” printed online May 17, 2012 in the Journal of Endocrinology and . Vitamin D with Calcium reduces risk of death by 8%. Posted July 9, 2012. r/ar
Now a new study (4) suggests vitamin D and calcium may help with overall health in the elderly. In the study, researchers analyzed 8 studies of 70,528 patients (86.8% females) between the ages of 48 and 103, with 27,345 given both calcium and vitamin D, 7,771 patients being given only vitamin D, and 35,412 given placebo or no vitamin D. They found that vitamin D reduced the risk of death by 8% but only if given with calcium. Regarding specific dosages, it was 1000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU per day of vitamin D that produced the 8% reduction and was the exact dose used in three different studies (5, 6, 7).
The researchers suggested several mechanisms that may help explain how vitamin D and calcium together helps reduce the risk of death. These include helping reduce the risk of colorectal cancer risk and mortality (8) as well as breast cancer risk and mortality (9). Researchers also cited the ability of calcium with vitamin D to help maintain healthy of levels of a hormone called PTH, as high PTH levels have been shown to increase the risk of several diseases including cardiovascular disease (10, 11).
For the researchers, “Vitamin D with calcium reduces mortality in the elderly, whereas available data do not support an effect of vitamin D alone.”
- Information at the National Institute of Health’s Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.
- Fedirko V. Effects of Vitamin D and Calcium on Proliferation and Differentiation In Normal Colon Mucosa: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(11):2933–41.
- Shahar DR. Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss. Amer Jou Clin Nutr 2010. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29355.
- Vitamin D with Calcium Reduces Mortality: Patient Level Pooled Analysis of 70,528 Patients from Eight Major Vitamin D Trials.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012 First published ahead of print May 17, 2012 as doi:10.1210/jc.2011-3328.
- Meyer HE, Smedshaug GB, Kvaavik E, Falch JA, Tverdal A, Pedersen JI 2002 Can vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of fracture in the elderly? A randomized controlled trial. J Bone Miner Res 17:709–715.
- Larsen ER, Mosekilde L, Foldspang A 2004 Vitamin D and calcium supplementation prevents osteoporotic fractures in elderly community dwelling residents: a pragmatic population-based 3-year intervention study. J Bone Miner Res 19:370–378.
- LaCroix AZ, Kotchen J, Anderson G, Brzyski R, Cauley JA, Cummings SR, Gass M, Johnson KC, Ko M, Larson J, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Wactawski-Wende J 2009 Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and mortality in postmenopausal women: the Women’s Health Initiative Calcium-Vitamin D Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 64:559–567.
- Jacobs ET. Vitamin D, calcium, and colorectal neoplasia: new insights on mechanisms of action. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2009; 2:197–199.
- Bolland MJ. Calcium and vitamin D supplements and health outcomes: a reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) limited-access data set. Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 94:1144–1149.
- Hagstrom E. Plasma parathyroid hormone and the risk of cardiovascular mortality in the community. Circulation 2009; 119:2765–2771.
- Chen JS. Hypovitaminosis D and parathyroid hormone response in the elderly: effects on bone turnover and mortality. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2008; 68:290–298.