Bone FractureVitamins

Vitamin C lowers fracture risk

Researchers at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 30th Annual Meeting reported that taking vitamin C supplements might reduce the risk for hip and nonvertebral fracture.

First, the details.

  • The researchers looked for a correlation between total, dietary, and supplemental vitamin C, and the risk of hip and nonvertebral fracture among 958 individuals participating in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.
  • Participants began completing food frequency questionnaires between 1988 and 1989.
  • They were followed for hip fracture until 2005 and for nonvertebral fracture until 2003.

And, the results.

  • 100 participants experienced a hip fracture and 180 had a nonvertebral fracture during the study.
  • After adjusting for potential confounding factors, those with the lowest total and supplemental vitamin C intake experienced significantly more hip and nonvertebral fractures than those with the highest total and supplemental vitamin C intake.
  • Total vitamin C intake ranged from 97 mg/day to 305 mg/day.
  • The association was not seen when dietary vitamin C intake alone was evaluated.

The bottom line?
There’s some support for these findings in a 2007 study of rats where supplementary vitamin C improved the mechanical resistance to fracture.

However a 2006 study of smokers concluded that vitamin C had no effect on fracture risk.

So, should all people take vitamin C supplements, and should doctors measure vitamin C blood levels?

9/19/08 20:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.