|Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor|
Previous studies have linked vitamin D insufficiency to increased risk of fractures. Now a new study has shown that long-term vitamin D insufficiency in mature women may be associated with a higher risk of osteoporotic hip fractures.
Participants in the study included 1044 Swedish women who were 75 at the onset of the study. Of those women, 715 participated in a 5-year follow up. The researchers measured vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study and at the 5-year follow up period. Vitamin D levels were classified as high (greater than 75 nmol/L), intermediate (50 nmol/L), or low (less than 50 nmol/L). Women who fell into the same category both times were considered to have consistent levels.
The number of fractures that occurred was tracked for 10 years.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the women who consistently had at least 50 nmol/L levels of vitamin D suffered from significantly fewer hip fractures. 26% of the high group and 30% of the intermediate groups had fractures, compared with 45.6% in the low level group.
Researchers from Lund University conducted the study. It was presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases on April 4, 2014.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.