Summary of findings
- Adequate Vitamin D levels are essential for maintaining strong bones and preventing Rickets.
- Older women with low Vitamin D levels suffer a 70% increased risk of hip fractures. (136)
The role of Vitamin D in developing and maintaining healthy strong bones has long been established.
Adequate Vitamin D levels are essential if sufficient calcium is to be absorbed via the intestines.
The US health agencies have concluded that adequate calcium and Vitamin D throughout life may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. (134,135)
While everyone is susceptible to osteoporosis, post menopausal women are particularly at risk and should therefore ensure their Vitamin D levels are adequate before embarking on other drug treatments for the condition.
Too little Vitamin D has been clearly linked to an increased risk of fractures. A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated that women between the ages of 50 to 79 and with the lowest levels of Vitamin D had a 71 percent increased risk for hip fractures as compared with women with the highest levels of Vitamin D. This was a case-controlled study where 400 women with hip fractures had their Vitamin D levels measured and compared to the Vitamin D levels of 400 healthy women without fractures. (136)
Harvard Researchers also conducted a meta analysis of 12 clinical trials evaluating Vitamin D supplements and fracture prevention. In this analysis it was found that those receiving 700-800IU of Vitamin D daily had a 23-26% reduction in the risk of fractures.(137)
Although the study appeared to show that the higher levels of Vitamin D reduced the risk of hip and nonvertebral fractures the results were not statistically significant. There was no improvement when the patients were given a dose of only 400IU per day.
However all experts in the Vitamin D area now agree that 400IU is totally inadequate dose in adults and that doses between 1000-5000IU per day are required.
The products and the claims made about specific products on this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.