Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhDDepartment of Public Health and Global HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOslo, Norway

Excessive Supplements Linked to Increased Risk of Hip Fractures Interview with:

Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhDDepartment of Public Health and Global HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOslo, Norway

Prof. Meyer

Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhD
Department of Public Health and Global Health
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Oslo, Norway What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The use of high dose vitamin supplementation is popular in parts of the population, often without any clear indication and in the absence of clear evidence of benefit.

However, side effects can occur, and in a previous published secondary analysis of double blinded randomized controlled trials, we found to our surprise an increased risk of hip fracture in those supplemented with high doses of vitamin B6 in combination with vitamin B12.

This finding was re-assessed in the current study employing data from the large observational Nurses’ Health Study. As in the previous study, we found that a combined high intake of vitamin B6 and B12 was associated with increased risk of hip fracture. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: As side effects can occur, vitamin supplementation should be used cautiously when there is no apparent deficiency.

It is important to stress that normal doses of these vitamins (according to official recommendations) were not associated with increased fracture risk. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: We do not have a clear understanding of possible mechanism for the increased fracture risk in those consuming high doses of vitamins B6 and B12. This would be of importance to study further.

In addition, it would also be of interest to study other cohorts including high consumers of vitamins. 


Meyer HE, Willett WC, Fung TT, Holvik K, Feskanich D. Association of High Intakes of Vitamins B6 and B12From Food and Supplements With Risk of Hip Fracture Among Postmenopausal Women in the Nurses’ Health Study. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e193591. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3591

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Last Updated on May 13, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD