-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with low
levels of vitamin B-12 are at increased risk for bone fractures, a
new study suggests.
Researchers measured the levels of vitamin B-12 in 1,000 Swedish
men with an average age of 75. They found that participants with
low levels of the vitamin were more likely than those with normal
levels to have suffered a fracture.
Men in the group with the lowest B-12 levels were about 70
percent more likely to have suffered a fracture than others in the
study. This increased risk was primarily due to fractures in the
lumbar spine, where there was an up to 120 percent greater chance
"The higher risk also remains when we take other risk factors for fractures into consideration, such as age, smoking, [weight], bone-mineral density, previous fractures, physical activity, the vitamin D content in the blood and calcium intake," study author Catharina Lewerin, a researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, said in a university news release.
It is not known, however, if consuming more vitamin B-12 --
which is found in eggs, fish, poultry and other meats -- can reduce
the risk of fractures in older men.
"Right now, there is no reason to eat more vitamin B-12, but rather treatment shall only be applied in confirmed cases of deficiencies and in some cases to prevent deficiencies," Lewerin said. "For anyone who wants to strengthen their bones and prevent fractures, physical activity 30 minutes a day and quitting smoking is good self care."
Although the study tied lower vitamin B-12 levels to a higher
risk of fracture in older men, it did not establish a
This study -- published online in the journal
Osteoporosis International-- is a part of an international
research project initiated by the U.S. National Institutes of
Health that includes 11,000 men.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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