Once again we have been treated to statisticians mushing together multiple disparate previous studies to “prove” that calcium alone, or vitamin D alone, or both together in one of many different combinations will not prevent fractures. All mushed together in a carefully selected meta-analysis, you can prove anything depending on which studies are included.
More important, asking if adding a specific dose of calcium, or vitamin D, or both, will prevent fractures, misses the entire point. Most studies did not properly account for the nutrients in each day’s diet in individual test subjects – or in individual control subjects, many of whom also consumed the nutrients being studied.
And how can you ethically ask a patient to limit their diet in a way you believe will put them at risk for fractures? You have to settle for encouraging patients who are inadvertently short on some nutrients to improve their diet. But then they do not fracture and you cannot prove that they would have if only you had withheld the information!
We help individuals improve their bone health. One size does not fit all. We do a Complete Bone Health Evaluation. Then we adjust nutrition and lifestyle as needed for that individual. In about half of women and three-quarters of men, this is enough.
Jay Ginther, MD