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Tuesday 25th June 2019

Older men should exercise for bone health

1st February 2011

Getting extra doses of vitamin D and calcium does not help older men protect the health of their bones, according to a new Australian study.


Instead, older men should focus on getting exercise, which seemed to strengthen their bones.

For the study, the researchers randomly assigned 180 men to an exercise, getting increased amounts of vitamin D every day, getting both and doing nothing.

All of the men in the study were between the ages of 50 and 79.

The researchers not only wanted to measure the effectiveness of getting a daily dose of vitamin D compared to getting exercise, but also wanted to quantify the effectiveness of getting both.

People who were assigned to exercise were asked to do weight-bearing exercises and resistance training for three days a week for 18 months.

The milk used for the study had 1,000 milligrams of additional calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 in every 400 millilitre dose.

Throughout the study, the researchers made various measurements of participants' bones,  including measuring bone mineral density, quantitative computed tomography, measuring lumbar spine strength, and taking femur x-rays.

The researchers found that drinking milk fortified with vitamin D did not help older men's bones.

Men who exercised without drinking the milk every day fared the same as men who drank it in all of the researchers' tests.

Mone Zaidi, an osteoporosis researcher at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the study, said he believed that people still needed to get enough calcium and vitamin D, as well as exercise.

He said that getting vitamin D and calcium were part of a regimen that could prevent bones from breaking and fracturing.

Hence, the men who did not benefit from extra dietary vitamin D and calcium may have already had enough of the nutrients from other dietary sources.

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), people over age 70 need to get 800 IU of vitamin D every day, as well as 1,200 milligrams of calcium and regular weight-bearing exercise such as running or weight lifting.

Previous studies done on animals have shown that not getting enough vitamin D can make people vulnerable to cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Smoking and alcohol also have an adverse effect on bones.

Zaidi said that vitamin D and calcium were like building materials, and that past a certain point the nutrients weren't needed at all.


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Henry Lahore

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 @ 3:27

5 studies have shown at you need at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily to improve bone density. Note: the NIH says that seniors can get 800 to 4000 IU of vitamin D daily. The 800 IU is like a minimum wage, not enough to live on.

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