Researchers from the US and The Netherlands reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • 8 studies of vitamin D3 supplementation with or without calcium were assessed.
  • Data from 12,658 women were combined for a meta-analysis.

And, the results.

Compared to placebo…

  • Vitamin D3 + calcium supplementation significantly lowered the incidence of non-vertebral and hip fractures.
  • Vitamin D3 supplementation showed a 70% probability of being a better than placebo for preventing non-vertebral fractures, hip fractures, and non-vertebral, non-hip fractures.

Compared to calcium supplementation…

  • Vitamin D3 + calcium reduced non-vertebral fractures and non-vertebral, non-hip fractures.
  • It did not reduce hip fractures.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Vitamin D3 with calcium appears to achieve benefits above those attained with calcium supplementation alone for non-vertebral and non-vertebral-non-hip fractures.”

The two major forms are vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol — known collectively as calciferol. Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with UVB ultraviolet light.

Recommended doses of vitamin D are discussed here.

3/29/10 21:21 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.