A study published in Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine reports that vitamin D may be associated with a decreased risk of stress fractures for preadolescent and adolescent girls.
Kendrin R. Sonneville, Sc.D., R.D., of Children’s Hospital Boston, and colleagues conducted the study to identify whether calcium, vitamin D and dairy intake were associated with decreased risk of stress fractures among girls.
6,712 preadolescent and adolescent girls ages 9-15 were monitored for the seven-year follow up study. During those seven years, 3.9% of girls developed a stress fracture.
The authors found that dairy and calcium consumption was unrelated to stress fracture risk, while vitamin D was associated with a decreased risk of developing a stress fracture. These results were significant among adolescent girls who participate in 1 hour of high impact activity every day, the highest risk group for stress fractures.
“We observed a linear trend for lower stress fracture risk with increasing vitamin D intake such that those in the highest quintile had about 50% the risk of developing a stress fracture compared with those in the lowest quintile,” the authors wrote.
Surprisingly, the researchers found an increased risk of developing a stress fracture when calcium intake was high. The authors suggest this unexpected finding be examined further in future research.