Home > tips > Tip # 39: Osteoporosis and Vitamin D.

Tip # 39: Osteoporosis and Vitamin D.

To maintain strong bones, older adults need more vitamin D than current guidelines recommend, according to a just-released report. While the Institute of Medicine suggests 400-600 IU of vitamin D daily, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) advises that all men and women over the age of 50 should consume 800-1000 IU of vitamin D each day.

The AMWA noted that sunscreen, protective clothing, and lack of time spent outdoors may contribute to older adults’ decreased synthesis of vitamin D. Fatty fish and fortified milk or juice may provide dietary sources of vitamin D, though supplemental sources may be the easiest way for Americans to boost their vitamin D consumption.

While calcium has traditionally been considered the key to promoting bone strength, recent studies suggest vitamin D intake and exercise may be no less important in preventing osteoporosis. In fact, a study published last year demonstrated that serum levels of vitamin D, rather than dietary calcium intake, was most intimately connected with optimal calcium balance in the body, as measured by serum parathyroid hormone.

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  1. March 21, 2010 at 04:27

    The Vitamin D requirement in health and disease Robert P. Heaney presented the evidence that some people require 25(OH)D up to 44ng/ml 110nmol/l before they maximize Bone Mineral Density.
    The banner at Grassrootshealth shows the responses from typical daily inputs.
    Here is another study showing much the same.
    Startling Findings About Vitamin D Levels in Life Extension® Members

    There is absolutely NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER that 800~1000iu/daily will have any major impact on vitamin D3 deficiency. Each 100iu/daily increase can at best raise status 1ng/ml 2.5nmol/l. Obese, diabetics, celiacs or any other inflammatory condition increases the consumption of anti inflammatory agents so everyone with these conditions may require DOUBLE to achieve the same rise in status.

    Vitamin D is made from the action of UVB from sunlight on cholesterol in skin. Older people, and those on statins, have less cholesterol in skin and thus have a lower capacity for generating Vitamin D3. However urban pollution is a bigger driver or vitamin D insufficiency as ozone absorbs/blocks UVB from reaching ground level in urban areas.

  2. April 5, 2010 at 04:52

    I hope you don’t mind my adding a further comment to this topic.
    I don’t want to confuse people but I do want to make the point that it isn’t JUST vitamin D and calcium that are required to ensure optimum bone mineral density.
    Most people in the US (and the problem is also global) get insufficient magnesium in their diet.
    Magnesium is a co factor for Vitamin D.
    It’s essential that sufficient magnesium is present in order that sufficient Calcitriol,(the active form of Vitamin d) can be made.
    It’s possible people could correct vitamin D status but still won’t see any benefit because their magnesium status is too low.
    Other vitamin D co factors are zinc, boron, Vitamin K2 and genistein and vitamin A. Vitamin K2 is probably the next most common co-factor deficiency whereas too much Vitamin A could also be affecting the functioning of Vitamin D.

    • April 5, 2010 at 12:15

      Don’t mid at all, I appreciate you rthoughful, insightful comments. You’re absolutely correct about magnesium…I’ve posted “tips” on it before.
      Cheers,
      JB

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