Vitamin D may not slow bone loss in black women

July 27, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, Women's Health

Vitamin D may not slow bone loss in black women

New research from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola has found that vitamin D supplements in postmenopausal African-American women does not appear to slow bone loss.

Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium, therefore helping to improve bone and muscle health.

Researchers decided to focus on black women in the study since they synthesize less vitamin D with sun exposure than white women, therefore making them a vulnerable population for bone loss. The study randomly assigned over 200 postmenopausal black women to receive a vitamin D supplement or placebo over a 3-year period.

Researchers expected to see a decrease in bone mineral loss with the supplementation of vitamin D. Throughout the entire study bone mineral density did not differ significantly between the two groups. Both groups of women experienced an increase in bone mineral density after one year. However, after 3 years bone mineral density feel by up to 0.55 percent per year.

Researchers are unclear why no benefit was seen from study participants who were receiving vitamin D supplementation throughout he study period. Although it may have something to do with the fact that calcium metabolism is much higher in black women than in white women, therefore minimizing vitamin Ds effects.

The current recommended intake of vitamin D is 200 IU per day for young adults, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 600 IU for individuals over the age of 70. Sources of vitamin D include milk, egg, fortified soy beverage and oily fish.

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