People aged over 50 should be taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to ward against fractures, according to a Lancet study published today.
Researchers found that those in the demographic supplementing their intake of these vitamins lowered their risk of bone-thinning osteoporosis by 12 per cent.
Lead author Benjamin Tang told the Guardian: "If you're fit, healthy and have a very good diet then at 50 perhaps it's optional but the older you get and the poorer diet you have the more definite the benefit.
"Unfortunately most of the tablets are low dosage."
When the proper dose of 1200mg was taken every day the risk of developing osteoporosis was reduced by 24 per cent.
The treatment was also more effective for individuals living in institutions, which researchers attribute to care workers ensuring they take their supplements when required.
Food Standards Agency guidelines say that people should consume all of the calcium they need by eating a balanced diet.