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Physical trauma and the metabolic clearance of Vitamin D

Posted on: July 13, 2011   by  John Cannell, MD


Dear Dr. Cannell,

Ten days ago, my wife hit a semi-truck trailer t-bone. I know her vitamin D level was 70 ng/ml a week before the accident. Four days after the accident it was 32. Are there any studies on major trauma and severe sudden D loss, responses to fight-or-flight mechanisms?

Paul, Minnesota

Dear Paul,

I hope your wife is going to be okay. While no studies have examined the effect of massive trauma on the metabolic clearance of vitamin D, a recent study showed that having a knee replacement used up tremendous amounts of vitamin D. It is likely that the trauma of the surgery, and the acute inflammation the surgery caused, was the reason why so much vitamin D was used up. Be sure your wife gets 50,000 IU of vitamin D every day until she is out of the hospital.

Reid D, et al. The relation between acute changes in the systemic inflammatory response and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations after elective knee arthroplasty. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May; 93(5): 1006-11.

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