News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Role of vitamin D and calcium indisputable for bone health

Role of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, indisputable for bone health

January 27, 2014 – Despite the current debate surrounding vitamin D, its role in maintaining good bone health and protecting against osteoporosis, in combination with calcium, is indisputable.

While evidence of the potential role vitamin D may play in non-skeletal conditions mounts, the New Zealand Self Medication Industry (SMI) agrees with recent editorial comments in The Lancet that large clinical studies would help to properly assess the effects of vitamin D for health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.

According to SMI executive director, Tim Roper, vitamins and supplements are not a panacea for preventing chronic disease, however, they do have a legitimate place in the wider health system and remain important for many people.

“SMI recognises that robust evidence is essential if we want to demonstrate vitamin D’s role in preventing a range of non-skeletal conditions. In the meantime, we don’t want to see people with brittle bones, as well as those at high-risk, cutting vitamin D out of their supplement routine and making themselves vulnerable to future fractures.”

Mr Roper added that for people who aren’t obtaining adequate calcium or vitamin D from natural sources, supplementation is known to be a highly effective way to fill the gap and to reduce fracture risk by up to 24 per cent.

SMI’s recommendation is for people who are at risk of osteoporosis to speak to a qualified healthcare professional. If they are found to be calcium or vitamin D deficient, supplementation may be recommended as preventative action.

At-risk populations include:
• People with naturally very dark skin
• People with little or no sun exposure – e.g. people who are hospitalised, living in an aged care facility or working jobs that prevent sun exposure such as shift workers, miners, or even office workers working particularly long hours
• People who cover up with long robes/head coverings because of religious or cultural reasons
• People with a malabsorption conditions
• Older adults who, due to age, cannot synthesise vitamin D as efficiently
• People who are overweight or obese.

Osteoporosis is one of New Zealand’s most debilitating and costly health problems. The condition affects one in every two women over the age of 60 and nearly one third of all men in New Zealand. For people who aren’t obtaining adequate calcium or vitamin D from natural sources, supplementation is known to be a highly effective way to fill the gap.

In New Zealand, the recommended daily intake of calcium is between 1000 and 1300 mg per day for adults. For vitamin D, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) consider that doses of up to 80 mcg are safe.5 Most supplements that are available in New Zealand are 25 mcg or less.

Mr Roper added that SMI, alongside several other healthcare stakeholders, is awaiting feedback on the current MBS review into vitamin D testing.

“SMI looks forward to the outcome of the MBS review into vitamin D testing. In our view, testing for vitamin D deficiency provides an opportunity for informed discussion on treatment options – that is, appropriate sun exposure versus supplementation, and their respective risks and benefits,” Mr Roper said.

About SMI
The New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association Inc (SMI) is the national trade association representing manufacturers, marketers and distributors of a wide range of products, generally available "over-the-counter" (OTC) and mainly for use in self-medication by New Zealand consumers. SMI’s mission is to promote better health through responsible self-care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self-care products are readily available to all New Zealanders at a reasonable cost. SMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland