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.
“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.”