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Extra calcium, vitamin D no bone booster for men


4 Star



Extra calcium, vitamin D no bone booster for men

Our Review Summary

This was a very clean and efficient story summarizing what the evidence showed and what it didn’t.


Why This Matters

Consumers may want to believe that supplements can’t hurt – they can only help.   It’s worth it for journalists to report on studies that show that good diet and exercise works to prevent bone-thinning – but that supplements may not add any protection.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?


It is rare to see a story include costs of what might be viewed as inexpensive supplements, but this story included the costs – at least – of vitamin D supplements.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

From a purist’s perspective, we wish the story had quantified the benefit seen from exercise.  We’re told that adding supplements to the exercise program didn’t provide any extra benefit.  But just what was the degree of benefit from exercise?  We’re never told.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


In a sense, the story was all about a finding that might help people avoid the “harm” of thinking that supplements do more for them than they actually do.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


The story was very clear on what the study showed and did not show, and what the take-home ramifications were.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


The story cited clear numbers and broke down categories of older women, white men and black men.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?


The story cites the researchers’ published findings, then turns in large part to an independent expert to evaluate the evidence.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


At least the story gave some broad contex about other approaches to prevent bone-thinning:

“To build bone density, weight-bearing exercise is needed, such as running or weight-lifting, according to the NIH.

To reduce the risk of bone weakening, the NIH recommends not smoking, drinking less alcohol and exercising more.

Zaidi said that both vitamin D and calcium are extremely important for human health, so people should follow the previous vitamin D and calcium recommendations.”

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Applicable

The availability of calciium and vitamin D are not in question.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Not Satisfactory

There was room for improvement here.  The story could have done a better job of putting the new finding into the context of past research in this field.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


It’s clear the story didn’t rely solely on a news release.

Total Score: 7 of 9 Satisfactory


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