womens health

Sunshine Supplement: The Efficacy of Vitamin D in Strengthening Bones and Avoiding Breaks

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient that helps our bodies absorb calcium. Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, our bodies cannot effectively use the calcium we consume.

Research has shown that a lack of vitamin D can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. This is especially true for older adults who may have difficulty absorbing enough vitamin D from food sources or spending time outdoors in the sun.

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults are deficient in vitamin D. This deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where bone density decreases and bones become weaker and more prone to breaking.

To combat this issue, many doctors recommend taking supplements containing vitamin D along with calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli and kale.

A randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that taking daily supplements containing both calcium and vitamin D reduced the risk of hip fractures by 30 percent among women over age 65. Another study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that high doses of vitamin D helped improve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

But how much should you take? According to guidelines set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), adults under age 70 should aim for at least 600 international units (IU) per day while those over age 70 should get at least 800 IU per day.

It’s important to note that too much vitamin D can be harmful as well. High levels can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation or even kidney damage if taken excessively over long periods of time.

While supplements can help boost your intake of this vital nutrient it’s also important not to overlook the benefits of getting vitamin D through natural sources such as sunlight. Just 15-20 minutes of exposure to sunlight can provide enough vitamin D for most people.

In conclusion, ensuring adequate intake of vitamin D is crucial in maintaining strong bones and avoiding fractures. While supplements can be helpful, it’s important not to overlook the benefits of natural sources such as sunlight. Speak with your doctor about how much vitamin D you should be taking and what sources are best suited for your needs.

Future Advances on This Topic

As research continues on the importance of vitamin D, there have been some exciting developments in this area.

One recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that high doses of monthly or quarterly injections containing a synthetic form of vitamin D called calcifediol were effective at reducing bone fractures among older adults with a history of falls.

Another study published in PLOS ONE found that increasing levels of physical activity could help boost blood levels of vitamin D which may lead to improved bone health and reduced risk for fracture.

Overall, continued research into the role that Vitamin D plays in our overall health will likely lead to new discoveries and treatments aimed at improving bone strength and preventing fractures.

*Note: this site does not provide medical opinions or diagnosis and should not be relied upon instead of receiving medical attention from a licensed medical professional.

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1WH staff