Vitamin D for all elderly patients - A Myth
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Vitamin D supplemented routinely by doctors to avoid fractures and strengthen bone has become controversial after a recent article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The US preventive service task force has been raising the alarm since early 2012 regarding the abuse of this vitamin.
It stated that there is ‘insufficient’ data to suggest that it benefits older adults without osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency.Hence, in a normal bone-healthy elderly individual, it seems to have no role. But still, it acts as a first-line management in adults suffering with vitamin D deficiency or osteoporosis.
In his study, Jia Guo Zhao, by doing a meta analysis of 33 studies involving 50,000 non-hospitalised adults over the age of 50, concluded that regardless of the vitamin D dose intake, gender, calcium supplement in food, prophylactic dosage of vitamin D and calcium supplements did not seem to prevent fractures in these elderly adults.
Then why do we prescribe these in the indian population routinely? It’s because most of our population are vitamin D deficient.
Read more in the article ‘Won’t I Get my Vitamin D from Sunshine?’
The author is an Associate Consultant in the Department of Orthopaedics at MGM Healthcare.