Normal bone aging is significantly accelerated with vitamin D deficiency, according to researchers at University of California Berkley.
Previous research tells us that vitamin D deficiency contributes to reduced bone density. The German and American research team demonstrates that vitamin D deficiency also reduces bone quality.
“We hypothesized that restoring the normal level of vitamin D not only corrects the imbalance of mineralized and non-mineralized bone quantities, but also initiates simultaneous multiscale alterations in bone structure that affects both the intrinsic and extrinsic fracture mechanisms,” explains Robert Ritchie, who led the US contingent of the research team.
The researchers collected bone core samples from 30 participants, 15 of whom were vitamin D deficient and showed early signs of osteomalacia. The bone samples were then analyzed using a state of the art X-ray machine. The X-ray can analyze nano-scale structural features of a person’s bone in 3-D. Its rays can also penetrate deep into the bones, revealing more information that normal X-rays.
The researchers found that cracks in the bone were larger and more common in the vitamin D deficient participants. Vitamin D deficient participants’ bone displayed structural characteristics of older, brittle bones. “…vitamin D deficiency increases both the initiation and propagation of cracks by 22- to 31-percent,” the authors explain.
The authors recommend vitamin D levels are checked and well monitored to ensure the structural integrity of bones and prevent future fractures.