Despite the concerns about HRT, the drug is still very actively prescribed, particularly to postmenopausal women with increased risk of osteoporosis.
But there's a better way, as new research has discovered. Instead of running the gamut of side-effects of HRT, how about taking vitamin D supplements instead?
A study from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England, found that even a low level of supplementation dramatically reduced the risk of fracture in both women and men.
A group of 2,686 people aged between 65 and 85 were given either a placebo or 100,000 IU of vitamin D, which they took once every four months for five years. The vitamin D group had dramatically fewer fractures than the placebo group - and nobody reported any side-effects from the vitamin.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 326: 469-72).