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Higher Doses of Vitamin D Reduce Hip Fracture Risk for Elderly Women

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(ZURICH) -- Not all studies have drawn positive conclusions about vitamin D. Now a new study published in a prestigious medical journal suggests it can have a powerful positive impact on the elderly, who account for about 75 percent of hip fractures.
 
Called the "sunshine vitamin" because it's manufactured in our bodies naturally with exposure to sunlight, vitamin D has been found to have a protective effect on women's bones. Swiss researchers found that women 65 and older who took at least eight international units (IU) of D per day, reduced their risk of hip fractures by 30 percent.

But, reports HealthDay, the higher the dosage -- the better, according to study author Dr. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari from the Center on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich.

"[D]ose matters, as we saw this benefit only at the highest intake level of greater than 800 IU per day, and no dose below 792 IU per day reduced fracture risk," she said.

The authors concluded their study, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, that if everyone took the recommended daily dose, the impact would be enormous since hip fractures are the most severe and frequent fractures among the elderly and often lead to disability and death.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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