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Higher Doses of Vitamin D May be Needed to Combat Bone Loss

While current guidelines recommend 400 IU daily of vitamin D, a recent study suggests that supplementation of at least 1,000 IU per day of vitamin D may be necessary to slow bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Participants in the study included 305 postmenopausal women between the ages of 60 and 70. Over the course of e year they were instructed to take either 400 IU of vitamin D, 1,000 IU or a placebo.

Of the initial study group, 265 women completed the study. The researchers found that the vitamin D blood levels in the 400 IU group increased by 31.6 nmol/L whereas the 1,000 IU group had an increase of 42.6 nmol/L. The placebo group, on the other hand, had a decrease of 4.1 nmol/L.

The 1,000 IU group also had a very low mean loss of bone mineral density at the hip of 0.05%. The 400 IU group had a loss of 0.57% and the placebo groups showed a loss of 0.60%.

The researchers also measured blood levels one month after supplementation ended and found that none of the women in the vitamin D groups had levels below 25 nmol/L, while 40% of women in the placebo group did. Additionally, 16% of the 1,000 IU group, 50% of the 400 IU group, and 94% of the placebo group had levels below 50 nmol/L at that time.

They also found that only 17% of the women in the 1,000 IU group had optimal blood levels of 75 nmol/L one month after stopping supplementation.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland conducted the study. It was published in the October 2013 issue of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reductions in the risk of skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, 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.

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