Vitamin D Supplementation Slows Age-Related Bone Loss in Older Women

Until recently, it was unknown whether improving vitamin D status (without changing calcium intake) could have a positive effect on bone turnover. To that end, a group of researchers recently measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on markers associated with bone turnover in women known to be vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL). Participants were South Asian women at least 20 years of age. The women were categorized by age and menopausal status, then randomized to receive either 4,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo every day for 6 months. In the women who received vitamin D supplements, average vitamin D blood levels increased from 8.4 ng/mL (21 nmol/L) to 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L). Additionally, measured chemical markers indicating bone loss either remained the same or decreased in postmenopausal women who received vitamin D supplements, indicating a reduction in bone turnover. This research confirms that correcting vitamin D deficiencies in older women can suppress age-related increases in bone turnover, which also helps reduce bone resorption (the process by which bone breaks down and releases its minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone into the blood). Von hurst PR, Stonehouse W, Kruger MC, Coad J. Vitamin D supplementation suppresses age-induced bone turnover in older women who are vitamin D deficient. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;121(1-2):293-6.