To Your Health
August, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 08)
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Make No Bones About It

By Editorial Staff

Vitamin D, otherwise known as the "sunshine vitamin," serves many functions including helping boost the immune system, fight certain kinds of cancer and build healthy, strong bones. Bone strength and density are important considerations as people age, particularly those at risk for, or suffering from, osteoporosis, a condition that causes abnormally thin, brittle bones.

What about the estimated 10 million-plus people already suffering from osteoporosis? Can they derive any benefit from increasing their vitamin D intake? Yes, suggests research presented at the recent American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 17th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Researchers evaluated charts of 328 patients with osteoporosis to determine their vitamin D levels.

They found those levels to be woefully inadequate - almost 41 percent of patients had either deficient or insufficient vitamin D levels. Even more alarming was that patients were taking 800 IU of vitamin D and 1,200 IU calcium per day (well above the recommended daily allowance).

Despite vitamin D and calcium intake, these patients still were at extreme risk of fractures associated with osteoporosis. The researchers said: "Many patients with osteoporosis who were on vitamin D and calcium had low vitamin D levels, which in turn contributes to increased risk of fractures. Therefore, all patients with osteoporosis should have vitamin D levels measured, and replaced adequately."

So make no bones about it - vitamin D is an important part of your daily health regimen, whether or not you have osteoporosis. Ask your doctor for more information about how a balanced diet and proper supplementation can deliver the nutrition your body needs.