12 January - 20 June 2016

Vitamin D and bone health in postmenopausal women and adolescents’

9 Oct 13

Two recently published studies have investigated vitamin D and bone health.   A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism led by John Aloia of Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, USA has investigated whether calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation benefited bone health in postmenopausal women.  The double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, longitudinal factorial design study, divided 159 postmenopausal women into four groups.  One group consumed a combination of vitamin D and calcium daily, one was given 100 μ g vitamin D3 daily, a third group received 12000 mg of calcium daily, whilst the four group were given a placebo.  Serum and urine were collected at fasting and 2 hours after a calcium load at baseline and at 3 and 6 months.  The scientists analysed these for bone turnover markers including parathyroid hormone levels.  The scientists found a significant decline in bone turnover markers in those receiving the calcium supplements.  The vitamin D supplements were found to have no effect on bone turnover markers.  Aloia et al report that vitamin D and calcium interact to suppress bone turnover by decreasing parathyroid hormone levels noting that this can be benefit women who are vitamin D deficient. “In women who already are receiving the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, however, the study found there was no advantage to adding a vitamin D supplement."  Aloia added: "Women do need to be cautious about the possibility of vascular side effects from too much calcium and should consult their physicians about whether their diet is adequate or whether they should take supplements at all."

A study published in the journal Bone by scientists from the Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program in Lebanon, the American University of Beirut, Toronto University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has investigated vitamin D3 supplementation and bone health in adolescents.  El-Hajj Fuleihan et al recruited 167 girls and 171 boys with an average age of 13.  The adolescents received either a placebo, 35 µg/week or 350 µg/week of vitamin D for one year.  The scientists measured serum 25(OH) and bone parameters at baseline and at the end of the study.  The placebo and two vitamin D supplemented groups were found to have similar baseline characteristics.  Baseline vitamin D level was below 10 ng/ml in 33.5% of girls and 13.5% of boys, below 20 ng/ml in 83.2% of girls and 80.1% of boys, and below 30 ng/ml in 94.6% of girls and 94.7% of boys.  After intervention, the team report that in the overall group of girls, vitamin D supplementation increased bone mineral density (7.9% and 6.8% in low and high doses, versus 4.2% in placebo) however the boys did not exhibit any significant changes in any parameters of interest.  The scientists note that “the lack of apparent effect on bone geometry in boys may possible be due to the higher 25(OH) levels at study entry in boys and possibly the powerful effect on bone mass and structure of a larger lean mass and activity levels than in girls.  Alternatively, other possible explanations for the observed sexual dimorphism may include the divergent effect of sex steroids on bone mass, micro architecture, and muscle, the delayed timing of puberty in boys compared to girls and delay in changes in bone geometry in this gender compared to girls.”

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets, including the analysis for Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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