Low Vitamin B-12 Levels Tied to Bone Fractures in Older Men

Low Vitamin B-12 Levels Tied to Bone Fractures in Older Men

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 of fractures.

"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 cause-and-effect relationship.

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.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about vitamin B-12.

SOURCE: University of Gothenburg, news release, Dec. 12, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.