Living well Supplements Your Health & Wellness

Exercise may be your best bet for bone health, not calcium or vitamin D supplements

Increasing evidence suggests that all those years of advice to take calcium supplements for bone health may be turning into one of those reversals of medical advice that seems to come all too frequently.

Since 2002, the bulk of the evidence indicates that calcium supplements actually don’t decrease fracture risk and may actually do harm, such as increase the risks of kidney stones, heart attacks and even stroke. Nor does evidence indicate that eating more foods with calcium reduce fracture risk.

Vitamin D supplements also seem to have been over-rated as far as bone health, as supplements do not lower fracture risk for those living in the community. For those living in nursing homes on the other hand, they do lower the risk of fractures from falls.

The best bet to promote bone health for those living in the community? According to evidence: exercise. Exercise has a positive effect on preventing fractures, though in actual controlled studies, the average effect was small. The National Institutes of Health also recommends eating foods rich in calcium. Cheddar cheese, milk, yogurt and soybeans are particularly rich in calcium.

For more information on exercise and its benefits, read these posts:

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