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Vitamin D, Calcium for Fracture Risk Questioned

Panel: Low-dose Vitamin D, Calcium Pills May Not Prevent Fractures in Older Women

Vitamin D and Fractures: Is There a Link? continued...

No one is saying that calcium and vitamin D are not enough to prevent fractures. "You need real medicine, but part of the package is to avoid calcium and vitamin D deficiency," she says. "All of the drugs we use require patients to be replete in calcium and vitamin D."

Her advice: Consult your health care provider about what is best for you.

"People who have a real risk for fracture have to go beyond calcium and vitamin D and to medicine, but this doesn't mean they should ignore vitamin D and calcium," she says. "We are not looking for extra; we are looking for enough."

Can Vitamin D Prevent Cancer?

The jury is still out on whether vitamin D can prevent cancer, says Len Lichtenfeld, MD, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer.

"The studies have been negative, inconclusive, or not well designed to answer the question from a scientific standpoint," he says. "We are left without good medicine to guide people as to whether vitamin D prevents cancer."

"Vitamin D may reduce the incidence of cancer, but the evidence is not sufficient to draw that conclusion," he says. "Many experts do believe that we are relatively deficient in vitamin D as a nation, and people who wish to take supplements should talk to their doctor."

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