The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D and prevention of osteoporotic fractures

    Writing for the California Technology Assessment Forum, Dr. Jeffrey Tice at the University of California has reviewed vitamin D and calcium as an option to lower the risk of osteoporotic fractures.

    Here’s what we know.

    Osteoporotic fractures

    • In the United States, the estimated direct cost for care of patients suffering osteoporotic fractures was $17 billion in 2005.
    • Hip and vertebral fractures cause significant disability and are associated with increased mortality.

    Vitamin D

    • Vitamin D alone is ineffective, but vitamin D plus calcium reduces total fractures by 14% and hip fractures by 18%.
    • The form of vitamin D used and the dose does not alter the efficacy of vitamin D plus calcium therapy.
    • 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D taken daily with 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium reduces fractures by approximately 14%.
    • The greatest benefits are in people at high risk for fracture — those over 70 or those with prior osteoporotic fractures.
    • Kidney stones are more common, but the absolute increase was small.

    The bottom line?

    There is a trend towards lower mortality in patients receiving vitamin D therapy.

    Accordingly, Dr. Tice concludes, “Use of vitamin D combined with calcium meets California Technology Assessment Forum technology assessment… for safety, effectiveness, and improvement in health outcomes for the prevention of osteoporotic fractures.”

    8/9/11 20:28 JR

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