It’s safe to say that most conversations about reducing fracture risk focus on women and calcium. So the details of this recent study on preventing broken bones are sure to elicit a double-take.
And that’s a good thing. Because the conclusion is something that older men in particular should take note of.
The study is part of a larger NIH-funded project, featuring roughly 11,000 men altogether. This particular investigation focused on 1,000 men, averaging 75 years old.
Researchers assessed the men’s levels of B vitamins, specifically folate and B12. And it’s worth noting that this study measured holotranscobalamin–a method that actually measures how much B12 your cells take up. So this is a more sensitive (and therefore more accurate) test of B vitamin status.
After a six-year follow-up, the researchers discovered that men with low B12 levels faced a significantly higher risk of fracture.
In fact, men in the lowest quartile of B12 status were 70 percent more likely to wind up with a broken bone. And in the case of vertebral fractures in particular, that risk rose a whopping 120 percent.
As usual, the researchers behind this study don’t think their results are reason enough to urge men to get more vitamin B12. But once again, I disagree.
B12 is almost exclusively found in animal products–liver, beef, fish, and eggs are all great sources. So men, put these foods on regular rotation in your diet, and take a daily B-100 complex. That should keep your bones where they need to be.
“Low holotranscobalamin and cobalamins predict incident fractures in elderly men: the MrOS Sweden.” Osteoporos Int. 2013 Oct 16.