Vitamin D reduced chances of elders falling, soy protein reduced fractures in postmenopausal women and omega-3s strengthened kids’ bones, in three new studies.
Doctors reviewed eight fall-prevention studies covering more than 2,400 people, average age 65, who took 200 IU to 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day or a placebo. While there was no benefit for those who took less than 700 IU of vitamin D per day, those who took between 700 IU and 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day were 19 percent less likely to fall compared to placebo. Researchers also measured blood levels of vitamin D and found that those with optimal levels were 23 percent less likely to fall while those with lower vitamin D levels fell as often as those in the placebo group.
In a bone fracture study, doctors measured the diets of over 24,000 postmenopausal women, aged 40 to 70, with no history of bone fracture or cancer. After four years of follow-up, those who ate the most soy protein—equal to about two cups of soy milk per day or 7 ounces of tofu—were 30 percent less likely to have a bone fracture compared to those who ate the least soy protein.
In a bone strength study, doctors measured the diets of 85 8-year-old boys and found that those who got the most omega-3 fatty acids had much higher bone mineral density (BMD)—a sign of bone strength—compared to boys who got the least omega-3s. Boys who ate more omega-6s and fewer omega-3s had the lowest bone density.