More isn’t always better when it comes to vitamin D and bone health

December 14, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

More isn’t always better when it comes to vitamin D and bone health
According to study findings from the University of Minnesota, older women with low blood levels of vitamin D may have an increased risk of frail bones, but researchers say the high vitamin D levels that some experts recommend may not offer special protection.

To investigate, researchers studied more than 6,000 elderly women for 4.5 years.

They found that, at the outset, women with either relatively low vitamin D levels (below 20 ng/mL) or high levels (above 30 ng/mL) were somewhat more likely than women with moderate levels (20 - 29.9 ng/ml) to be frail, including muscle weakness, exhaustion and slow walking speed.

However, when the researchers looked at the women's risk of becoming frail over time, only low vitamin D levels were linked to increased risk.

Researchers found no additional benefit of having vitamin D levels at or above 30 ng/mL, a level that some researchers have advocated for optimal health.

Researcher say that despite what many people think, more isn't always better when it comes to vitamin D and bone health.  More studies are needed to determine the optimal level of vitamin D for bone health.

The findings come less than two weeks after a long-awaited report on vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which suggested the recommended intake of vitamin D be increased for Canadians.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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