Washington, DC, June 14, 2012 – On June 12, 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Cancer and Osteoporotic Fractures in Adults draft recommendation statement which concluded that “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in premenopausal women or in men.”
The USPSTF also noted there were a number of research needs and gaps regarding calcium and vitamin D supplementation and that the evidence was lacking in a number of areas and that the balance of benefit and harm in many instances could not be determined.
It is important to highlight that this draft USPSTF recommendation statement does not apply to postmenopausal women or others with osteoporosis, low bone mass, those who have suffered a bone break after the age of 50 or those with other significant risk factors. These individuals, particularly if they are taking an osteoporosis medication, need to ensure adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D for their medication to be effective.
Despite this recommendation statement being a draft (with public comments due no later than July 10, 2012) and the research needs and gaps identified by the USPSTF, many media reports suggested this draft USPSTF recommendation statement was advising that consumers stop taking calcium and vitamin D supplements unequivocally.
NBHA advises individuals to consult with their healthcare professional before discontinuing the use of supplements while continuing to meet their daily calcium and vitamin D needs from food sources first (which is more difficult to accomplish with vitamin D, given there are much more limited food sources with adequate amounts of vitamin D). NBHA also concurs that more research is needed to better understand the risk and benefit of calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an NBHA expert, please contact David Lee at (202) 721-6351 or email@example.com.
About the National Bone Health Alliance
Established in late 2010, the National Bone Health Alliance is a public-private partnership that brings together the expertise and resources of various partners across a broad spectrum to promote bone health and prevent disease; improve diagnosis and treatment of bone disease; and enhance bone research, surveillance and evaluation. The NBHA is a platform that allows all voices in the bone health community to work together around shared priorities and develop projects that can become reality through pooled funding. The 45 members of the Alliance (in addition to liaisons representing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are working from a shared vision: to improve the overall health and quality of life of all Americans by enhancing their bone health. For more information on the NBHA, visit www.nbha.org.