BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Adding calcium and vitamin D supplements to daily diet doesn't prevent broken bones but can increase the risk of kidney stones, according to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Monday.
It's a confusing message that for years, calcium and vitamin D supplements have been widely considered an insurance policy against osteoporosis, with little side effect.
"Regrettably, we don't have as much information as we would like to have about a substance that has been around a long time and we used to think we understood," said Dr. Virginia Moyer of the Baylor College of Medicine, who heads the task force.
There's not enough evidence to tell if the high-dose calcium and vitamin D supplements would prevent bone fractures if taken before menopause, or if they can strengthen men's bones, the task force concluded.
Calcium and vitamin D work together, and humans need both nutrients to build and maintain strong bones in lifetime.
But the body also produces vitamin D from sunshine and gets other nutrients from various foods such as orange juice, milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon and cereals.
Specialists advise getting these nutrients as much as possible from a good diet.
These recommendations aren't for people at high risk of weak bones, including older adults who have previously broken a bone and are at risk for doing so.
And those people should consult a doctor, said a bone specialist.