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Too many B6 and B12 vitamins linked to hip fractures in older women

An American study suggests that older women who take supplements with high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 are more likely than their counterparts who do not suffer from hip fracture.

Although some studies have linked these two vitamins to a lower risk of heart disease, the results have been mixed and some studies have also linked B6 and B12 with fractures in the elderly, the researchers note in the JAMA Network. Open.

According to current US dietary guidelines, women over the age of 50 should receive 1.5 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6 per day, and girls and women aged 14 and over, 2.4 micrograms per day ( μg, which corresponds to one thousandth of a milligram). .

For this study, researchers tracked nearly 76,000 nurses in the United States for an average of 21 years and conducted in-depth dietary surveys approximately every four years or so. Almost all women participating in the study had a total intake of B6 and B12 from foods and supplements that exceeded recommendations.

About 2,300 women suffered a hip fracture during the study and half of them had it before the age of 76.

Compared with women whose two vitamins were the least absorbed, women with the highest daily intakes (at least 35 mg B6 and 20 μg B12) were 47% more likely to have hip fractures during pregnancy. of the study.

"Many people take supplements with no clear indication, and high-dose vitamin supplements are readily available in pharmacies and on the Internet," said Dr. Haakon Meyer, lead author of the study, Health & Wellness. University of Oslo in Norway.

"Our findings add to other reports suggesting that high-dose vitamin supplementation can lead to unexpected side effects," Meyer said via e-mail. "Normal intakes of these vitamins, corresponding to the recommended dietary intakes, were not associated with increased risk of fracture."

Vitamin B6 helps the body maintain a healthy metabolism and immune system. It is found in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, chickpeas, potatoes and other starchy vegetables. Vitamin B12 helps the body make red blood cells and is found naturally in clams, fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.

Half of the women in the study had a daily vitamin intake of at least 3.6 mg of B6 and 12.1 mcg of B12.

The study was not designed to demonstrate whether a high intake of B6 or B12 could contribute to the risk of hip fracture.

It is also possible that the study population of mostly white women, insured women, and middle-class women does not reflect what would happen with all older women in the United States.

Even so, the results underscore the importance of having a medical exam before starting any vitamin supplement, said Dr. Karen Hansen, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. .

"Women should seek advice from their primary health care provider about the opportunity to take a vitamin B supplement," said Hansen, who did not participate in the study, by mail electronic.

"If the provider documents a vitamin deficiency, then a supplement is clearly warranted," said Hansen. "However, in the absence of a documented deficiency, several studies collectively suggest that vitamins B6 and B12 will not improve skeletal health and could even be harmful."

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2LHNO8h Open Network JAMA, Online May 10, 2019.

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