High Doses of B Vitamins Tied to Hip Fractures in Women


Large doses of vitamin B supplements are linked to an increased risk for hip fracture in older women, researchers report.

The recommended dietary allowance for healthy women over 50 — 2.4 micrograms of B12 and 1.5 milligrams of B6 — would be fulfilled by eating six ounces of cooked tuna, and there are many other foods that contain these vitamins. One tablet of Centrum Silver, a widely used brand of multivitamins, contains 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and 5 milligrams of B6.

The observational study, in JAMA Network Open, included 75,864 women. Over a follow-up of 30 years, there were 2,304 hip fractures. After controlling for numerous medical, dietary and behavioral characteristics, they found that the more of either supplement consumed, the higher the risk for fracture.

When large amounts of both B12 and B6 supplements were used together, the risk was highest: compared to those who took a daily dose of less than 2 milligrams of B6 and 10 micrograms of B12 a day, those who took more than 35 milligrams of B6 and 20 micrograms of B12 were 47 percent more likely to have a hip fracture.

“People who are otherwise healthy should be cautious in taking supplements,” said the lead author, Dr. Haakon E. Meyer, a professor of medicine at the University of Oslo, “and avoid the high doses. Even the doses in multivitamins can be too high.”

Source : Nytimes