Monday, March 12, 2007

Can Stress Fractures be Prevented with Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation

Stress fractures are tiny cracks which occur in the bones as a result of overuse or increased physical activity. These painful fractures usually occur in the lower extremities-the feet and the shin bones. They are are more common in women athletes.

A recent study looked at more than 5000 female U.S. Navy recruits, 17 to 35 years old during their eight weeks of training, and concluded that vitamin D and calcium supplementation may prevent stress fractures even when taken for a short duration of time.
The women were divided into 2 groups. One group received vitamin D 800 IU (international units) plus 2000mg calcium on a daily basis, and the other group received placebo pills. The group that received the supplements had 25 percent less incidence of stress fractures.

More research needs to be done to see if the results of this study can have further implications for athletes and the weekend warriors who exercise intermittently. Meanwhile other preventive measures include proper equipment and supportive shoes, increasing any exercise program gradually, and cross training to prevent repetitive stress injury.

References: please see specific links.
Photos: courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

1 comment:

shopping said...

Looking at helping our body help and heal itself is definitely the way to go about things. I'm quite a vitamin fundie in this respect : having found supplements and vitamins helping me a lot, especially since most of the food we eat is so bad in this respect. In truth, I don't eat badly : I hardly eat out, and hardly eat fast food. Despite my healthy eating habits, I'm still missing the right nutrients to keep me going, it seems. What people are discovering in this area is quite fascinating, and I'm really a neutroceutical and nutrient fan. I'm sure that certain vitamins would be able to help bone fractures heal a lot quicker – by strengthening the immune system and the body's natural ways of healing.