Healthy postmenopausal women should skip low doses of calcium or vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures, according to a new statement from the US Preventive Services Task Force, the same group that recently recommended against routine PSA tests to detect prostate cancer.
The same holds true for men, according to the report, citing that for both groups there is insufficient evidence to recommend vitamin D with or without calcium to prevent fractures. Plus, according to the report, the supplements pose a small but measurable risk of kidney stones.
The group -- an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services -- is also considering whether or not the supplements play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, but so far there is insufficient evidence either way.
To reach their conclusions, the group analyzed nearly 140 studies, including randomized controlled trials, which the New York Times describes as the "gold standard for clinical evidence."
Doses considered low in the report are the typical level of 400 international units or less of vitamin D a day and 1,000 milligrams or less of calcium.