Tag Archives: Osteoporosis

Could vitamin D protect against bone loss?

Are you one of the 44 million Americans with low one density?  If so, and if you are over the age of 50, you could be one of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a dangerous condition in which your bones become fragile and at risk for fractures.  In older individuals, osteoporosis can lead to hip fractures that can limit mobility, or even spine fractures that could be debilitating.  Older women at are most risk for osteoporosis, but this condition can occur to both men and women at any age.

osteoporosis, vitamin D, bone health

Osteoporosis can weaken bone strength over time increasing risk of hip, wrist, and spinal fractures.

If you want to prevent osteoporosis, there are a few controllable factors that you can take charge of to lower your risk.

  • Quit smoking or don’t start if you don’t smoke.
  • Limit drinking alcohol.
  • Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D

A recent study by researchers from Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Senior Life found that older adults who consumed calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, milk, or cheese had higher bone mineral density in the spine and less bone loss in the hip.  However, this risk was only reduced significantly along with consumption of vitamin D supplementation. It is suspected that this finding is due to vitamin D’s important function of assisting with calcium absorption.  Without vitamin D, our body cannot adequately absorb all of the calcium goodness from the foods that we eat. In turn, our bones cannot receive the strengthening elements of calcium needed to preserve bone and prevent bone loss.

If you are not sure if you are vitamin D deficient, be sure to check with your healthcare provider.  Furthermore, if you are vitamin D deficient, it will be important to start on a vitamin D supplementation regimen.  However, check with your healthcare provider to find a regimen that will be best for you. Other ways to increase vitamin D include consuming foods rich in the vitamin such as:

  • fish oils
  • fatty fish
  • mushrooms
  • beef liver
  • cheese
  • egg yolks
  • fortified milk

Also, by increasing your sunlight exposure you can naturally increase your daily intake of vitamin D.   However, the amount of sunlight exposure needed to provide the most benefit will differ for everyone.   This is because the time of day, where you live, and skin pigmentation can all affect the amount of vitamin D your skin makes.

Furthermore, pair your healthy bone regimen with a supplement like Osteovent from Vita Sciences. Osteovent is power-packed with bone healthy vitamins such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and boron that are recommended by the Open Orthopaedics Journal.

Visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website for all of the great work they are doing to help increase awareness of osteoporosis and improve bone health efforts.

Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

Sources:

National Institutes of Health (2017 March 1). “Older Bones Benefit from Dairy Plus Vitamin D” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163861.html

National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center (2014 Nov). “What is Osteoporosis? Fast Facts: An Easy to Read Series of Publications for the Public” https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp

Calcium/Vitamin D


  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Osteoporosis

    Just in the news- scientists have discovered a connection between vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis that may change the way doctors treat bone loss. To promote good bone health, the key may be in sustaining maximum levels of vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Osteoporosis

    Vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is a form of anemia that occurs when your vitamin B12 levels in the blood drop to a dangerous low. In most people, B12 deficiency occurs from vitamin B12 malabsorption- the inability to digest vitamin B12 from foods such as meat, chicken, and fish.

    For many people, this occurs as an autoimmune impairment, an improper response to intrinsic factor, a protein needed to completely break down and utilize vitamin B12.

    Among the many ailments attributed to vitamin B12 deficiency caused by lack of intrinsic factor, increased risk for osteoporosis was the focus on a study led by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

    “We were amazed to find a new system that controls bone mass through a protein expressed, of all the places, in the stomach.” – Dr Pablo Roman-Garcia, study author

    Vitamin B12, the liver, and bone health

    In the study, scientists found dramatic bone loss in mice born to mothers with vitamin B12, noting that low vitamin B12 levels accounted for nearly 70% less bone mass than healthy specimens.

    While injecting vitamin B12 didn’t improve bone health, researchers did find that vitamin B12 supplements had a therapeutic effect on liver cells.  On closer inspection, they noticed that subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency were unable to produce taurine, a natural substance produced in the liver that promotes good bone cell production in preventing osteoporosis.

    “While the importance of taurine is yet to be fully understood, this research shows that vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating taurine production and that taurine plays an important role in bone formation.” -Dr Vidya Velagapudi, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

    Previous studies also confirm these findings, such as one that examined children in Turkey born to mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency where taurine deficiency was also present.

    Also, scientists from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland saw positive results in bone cell production and taurine synthesis when vitamin B12 supplements were provided.

    Helpful Links

    More details on the study about vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis can be found here: Pathway between gut and liver regulates bone mass

    Watch the video on YouTube: Vitamin B12: A Bone Pathway

    Vitamin B12- Essential for Chronic Pain Management

    Image by renjith krishnan