OLDER women who take supplements with high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 maybe more likely than their counterparts who don't to experience hip fractures, a US study suggests.

While some previous research has linked both of these vitamins to a lower risk of heart disease, results have been mixed and some studies have also tied B6 and B12 fractures in older adults, researchers note in JAMA Network Open.

Under current US dietary guidelines, women over age 50 should get 1.5 milligrams [mg] a day of B6, and girls and women aged 14 and up should get 2.4 daily micrograms [meg, which is one-thousand of a milligram] of B 12.

For the current study, researchers followed almost 76,000 female nurses in the US for an average of  21 years, doing extensive dietary surveys roughly every four years.

Almost all of the women in the study had a total intake of B6 and B12 from foods and supplements that was higher than recommended.

About 2,300 women had hip fractures during the study, and half of them had these fractures before they were 76 years old.

Compared to the women who had the lowest intake of both vitamins, women who had the highest intake - at least 35 mg of B6 and 20meg of B12 - were 47 percent more likely to have hip fractures during the study.

''Many people take supplements without clear indications, and high dose vitamin supplements are readily available in drug stores and on the Internet,'' said lead study author Dr. Haakon Meyer of the University of Oslo, in Norway.

''Our results add to another report suggesting that  high-dose vitamin supplementation can lead to unexpected adverse effects,'' Meyer said by email.

''Normal intakes of these vitamins, corresponding to recommended dietary allowances, were not associated with fracture risk.''

Vitamins B6 helps the body maintain a healthy metabolism and immune system and is found in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, chickpeas, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables.

B12 helps the body make red blood cells and is naturally found in clams, fish, meat eggs and diary products.

Half of the women in the study had daily vitamin intake of at least 3.6 mg of B6 and 12.1 meg of B12.

The study wasn't designed to prove whether or high intake of B6 or B12 might contribute to risk for hip fractures.[Agencies]

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Aging and Vitamins, continues.


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