April 27, 2012

Vitamin D, A Double Edged Sword for Osteoporosis

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Vitamin D is known for helping create strong bones and is a key regulator of serum calcium levels. Recent studies, however, have not offered much proof that Vitamin D supplements prevents bone fractures.

Calcium is obtained through diet and absorbed through the intestine and into the blood stream. Calcium is responsible for a variety of physiological processes, not just building bone. Vitamin D is detected by bone and intestinal cell receptors and it regulates the level of calcium in the blood stream while determining how much should be stored in the skeleton.

A recent study used mice to investigate how vitamin D affects the skeleton when serum calcium levels are down. Researchers recorded that the mice had normal serum calcium levels even when given a low-calcium diet. Also, the study showed that vitamin D stimulated bone cells to produce factors that removed calcium from the bone in order to maintain normal serum calcium levels. Therefore, vitamin D can maintain serum calcium levels, but it can also help promote bone density loss!

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Investigation, April 2012