Low levels of vitamin D are associated with osteoporosis

May 28, 2022
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Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for bone health. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a form of childhood bone disease that can lead to permanent deformities. Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and bowel cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.

To study the association between low levels of vitamin D and osteoporosis, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records. In this study, researchers identified patients with osteoporosis using World Health Organization criteria. This included a reduction of T-score on the bone mineral density (BMD) scale, fragility fractures, and low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. Vitamin D levels were measured using electrochemiluminescence.

The association between vitamin D and osteoporosis is based on the biologically active form of vitamin D, called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the intestine, maintaining serum calcium levels and phosphate levels. Low levels of vitamin D induce excessive levels of parathyroid hormone, which in turn leads to increased bone absorption. Low levels of vitamin D may also be the cause of low calcium levels. Vitamin D and PTH work together to mobilize bone calcium and enhance calcium reabsorption in the kidney.

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In addition to osteoporosis, low levels of vitamin D are also associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism, bone turnover markers, and fracture risk. Low vitamin D and low BMD are robust predictors of osteoporotic fracture. While several studies have demonstrated a positive association between low serum levels and low BMD, others have reported no significant association. A few studies have investigated the relationship between low serum levels of vitamin D and osteoporotic vertebral fractures, which commonly occur at the thoracolumbar junction.

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of fragility fractures by 31 percent. In a recent study, thirty subjects aged 57-60 years were examined and half of them were vitamin D deficient. Half of these individuals died of unnatural causes. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of hip and nonvertebral fractures. This relationship is not clear, but these findings suggest the importance of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with cancer

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to cancer. According to a nested case-control study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), individuals with deficient levels of the vitamin had a 31% greater risk of colorectal cancer. On the other hand, people with the highest circulating vitamin D levels had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer. While more research is needed, current research is promising.

Researchers have also linked low vitamin D levels with prostate and breast cancer. One meta-analysis of many studies showed an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and the risk of developing these cancers. High vitamin D concentrations were linked to lower breast cancer risk in a preliminary study. Further research is needed to verify this link in humans. Although low levels of vitamin D are associated with cancer, the risk of cancer is significantly lower in men with high levels of vitamin D.

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One study conducted at the Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in San Diego, CA, reported that higher serum levels of vitamin D are associated with lower risk of cancer. According to this study, adequate levels of vitamin D significantly reduce the risk of all types of invasive cancer combined. The authors cited studies examining the role of vitamin D metabolites in the development of cancer. These findings have implications for the treatment of cancer.

Although the relationship between low levels of vitamin D and cancer is weak, it has increased in recent years. A study of 44,778 twins has suggested that solar radiation plays a significant role in the development of breast cancer in different regions. Another study found a low correlation between breast cancer risk and vitamin D levels and low levels of vitamin D in northern latitudes. Moreover, the researchers found that women living in high and intermediate-solar-exposure areas had a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer than those in lower and intermediate solar exposure zones.

The inverse correlation between vitamin D and cancer mortality was first noted over 80 years ago. Substantial studies in 1980 and 1992 linked low levels of vitamin D with a high risk of colon cancer and prostate cancer. The authors proposed that the higher the levels of vitamin D, the lower the risk of colon and prostate cancer. Moreover, they found an association between low levels of vitamin D and the progression of melanoma.

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