Researchers from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City have found that more than half of postmenopausal women with the crippling bone disease osteoporosis are vitamin D deficient, regardless of age, country, latitude or season.
To determine the vitamin D levels in women, researchers conducted two cross-sectional studies to evaluate vitamin D levels in more than 4,100 postmenopausal women older than 55 years old who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis in different parts of the world.
The prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy by individual regions was found to be 52 percent in North America, 52 percent in Europe, 82 percent in the Middle East, 51 percent in Latin America, 63 percent in Asia and 59 percent in the Pacific Rim.
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, by enhancing calcium absorption. Insufficient levels of vitamin D in the diet can promote bone loss and increase the risk of bone fractures. According to researchers these findings underscore the need to improve physician and patient awareness of the importance of adequate vitamin D supplementation in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
November is osteoporosis month in Canada. According to Osteoporosis Canada , currently 1.4 million Canadians suffer from the disease. While osteoporosis can strike at any age, one in four women over the age of 50 have the disease and one in eight men over 50 also have the disease.
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