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Photo: Andrew Brookes / Getty

Vitamin D and calcium supplements do not appear to protect against bone breaks or hip fractures in adults over the age of 50, according to a new study reported on by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Fractures related to osteoporosis can have social and economic impacts that, as the world's population ages, are expected to increase. Researchers have been examining the association between supplements and fracture risk amid conflicting studies of the issue.

How it was done, per the Post: Researchers in China randomly analyzed 33 clinical trials involving more than 50,000 adults over the age of 50 who live in the general community. It didn't include those in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities.

The limitations: Daniel Fabricant, president of the Natural Products Association, which represents manufacturers and retailers that make dietary supplements, told the Post the study's conclusion was "too broad of a brush." He claimed "there is a lot missing" because the study focuses on the healthiest segment of the population: "people with prior breaks or family incidence of osteoporosis may still need vitamin D."

The Post also noted that some of the trials included in the analysis did not test baseline vitamin D blood concentration for all participants. The study also didn't look into the benefits or risks of vitamin D supplements on other conditions. However, previous studies have shown they can lower risks of diabetes and certain cancers.

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear providers', DOJ challenge to Texas abortion ban

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The high court will now officially hear three major abortion cases this term: Two on Texas and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."

4 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.