Vitamin D and Calcium | Foot Bones | Fracture Risk

skeleton of foot bonesMaintaining adequate muscle mass along with a sufficient vitamin D level and bone supporting minerals like calcium is very favorable for strong foot bones during aging.

A recent study was published assessing vitamin D status and its relationship with bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture risk in 578 urban post-menopausal Chinese. The researchers found approximately 72.1% of the women were vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/l).

Serum Vitamin D levels:

  • did not correlate with body mass index (BMI), fat mass and weight.
  • did positively correlate with all bone mineral densities (BMD), i.e, higher vitamin D level, higher BMD.
  • did negatively correlate with 10-year fracture probability, i.e., lower vitamin D level, higher fracture risk.

BMI ≤19 and age ≥65 years were risk factors for osteoporosis at all sites. Regular readers know how unreliable BMI can be due to its simplicity. I have posted on the importance of body composition and a muscle mass index as opposed to BMI as a better marker of health and longevity.

post-menopausal women osteoporosisMost readers know that vitamin D is involved in the absorption of calcium, and many of the post-menopausal female readers have probably  been advised to take a calcium supplement along with adequate vitamin d for strong bones, but what is the right amount of calcium to take as a diet supplement?

Best advice: Think like Goldilocks for best current calcium supplementation dose so you get the right amount of calcium in your diet for strong bones.

Best amount of daily calcium supplement dose for strong bones

There has been somewhat of a tug-of-war among calcium researchers regarding the benefits for bone health versus a possible untoward effect on arterial calcification, particularly of the blood vessels supplying the heart because of increased heart attack risk from calcifying heart blood vessels.

the right amount of calcium for strong bonesOf course, obtaining adequate calcium from food is the best goal. And for now, if you supplement, it seems best to get the dose amount just right…not too much…not too little. If your diet is good, seems prudent to err on the “lower-side.” Depending on how much yogurt and/or other dairy products you eat, 600-1000 mg. seems about right for most people.

At present, the current Recommended Dietary Allowances for calcium still appear to be a good target with potential risks for chronic disease if intakes fall too short or greatly exceed these recommendations.”

Source: Calcium Supplementation: Is Protecting Against Osteoporosis Counter to Protecting against Cardiovascular Disease?

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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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