Is Supplementation of Vitamin D Beneficial for Fracture Healing?
A Short Review of the Literature
Daniel Eschle, Dr. med. d.eschle at rehaclinic.ch; André G. Aeschlimann
Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation May 23, 2011
There has been a surge of interest regarding the benefits of vitamin D supplementation to prevent fractures.
But can it also make them heal more quickly once they have occurred—that is, is supplementation of vitamin D beneficial for fracture healing?
We found 13 studies that met our inclusion criteria, 11 of these were performed in animals.
- Two animal studies showed negative,
- 2 neutral, and
- 7 positive results.
One clinical case series in humans was inconclusive in our opinion, and one randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial showed that supplementation of vitamin D3 and calcium in elderly women with reduced bone mass and a proximal humerus fracture had a positive influence on bone healing. The major weakness of the latter study is low number of participants.
A clear statement on the benefits of vitamin D for fracture healing awaits further trials, but all types of fractures in elderly individuals indicate the need for secondary prevention and the implementation of appropriate guidelines concerning falls, vitamin D, and osteoporosis.
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