Stop Taking Calcium for Osteoporosis

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements
Vitamin D and calcium supplements in the normal doses prescribed do not prevent osteoporotic breaks and fractures, and there is not evidence to recommend people to take them. This from the United States Preventive Services Task Force.  While some health experts do not agree with the recommendation, there is no evidence that these are helpful, and growing evidence they may even be  harmful.  There is no recommendation for the higher doses of women over the age of 65, the panel noted.

This finding does not surprise osteoporosis experts.  They have known for years that osteoporosis is not prevented by supplements, and only rarely do certain people, such as those who have had RNY-gastric bypass, or duodenal switch, need supplements.

Most experts agree that Vitamin D and calcium are a part of a healthy diet and that eating well, especially using fresh leafy vegetables, is the best mechanism to get calcium.

The same panel has looked at the connection between Vitamin D and cancer, and preliminary data suggests that Vitamin D and cancer have no relationship.

About ten years ago both CAT scans and MRI scans were set up in shopping malls offering people the chance to have a whole body scan.  This became quite an industry for a while, with thousands of patients paying out of pocket for scans that were not needed, had no indication, and for which they were led to believe the risks were negligible. Thankfully, those are gone, as they offered no therapeutic benefit, but even a minor risk without benefit violates physician ethics.

While the ability of these scans to make diagnosis has increased, as well as the  image quality, what has alarmed some researchers is that physicians have increased the number of scans they have ordered in the last fifteen years. A study of six large HMO’s showed that CT scans in 1996 were ordered at 52 scans per 1,000 patient visits and increased to 149 tests per 1,000 visits. During the same time period MRI use quadrupled from 17 to 65 tests per 1,000 patients.

A study published online from JAMA noted that while the increased ability to diagnose certain conditions have increased, in some cases imaging is over used and along with a group of nine medical specialty boards, recommended that physicians perform 45 of the most common tests less often.  For example, CT scan is not needed for uncomplicated cases of sinus infection, and the cancer specialists said physicians should decrease the number of scans for early prostate and breast cancers that have little likelihood of metastasis.


While MRI and ultrasound have no radiation exposure, the increasing number of tests ordered is beyond the need for those examinations.





Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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Latest Comments

  1. Lynn says:

    I wonder if women on anastrozole really need calcium. I wonder if they really need anastrozole.

  2. thedoc says:

    There is a difference between bone matrix and the calcium for the bone matrix. We are learning more as we go – but osteoporosis is a horrible disease

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