Category Archives: Vitamin A

Review: Vitamin A Increases Fracture Risk at 2x Recommended Intake


Vitamin A intake and osteoporosis: a clinical review.

If osteoporosis is linked with vitamin A (Vit A) A consumption, millions of people could be affected. A MEDLINE search was performed with keywords retinol, beta-carotene, and osteoporosis. Of 20 clinical studies, 3 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 14 were observational studies, and 3 were case reports. Most (8) observational studies were cross-sectional. Oral retinoyl palmitate (RP) in high doses induces fractures and radiographic osteoporosis in animals. Retinol intake from diet or supplements is negatively associated with lumbar, femoral neck, and trochanter bone mineral density (BMD). There is a graded increase in relative risk of hip fracture with increasing retinol intake, attributable primarily to retinol (either from diet or supplements) but not beta-carotene intake. Higher serum retinol levels are associated with higher risk of any fracture and with higher risk of hip fracture, whereas there is no evidence of harm associated with beta-carotene intake. The few RCTs involve serum markers of bone metabolism, not bone density or fracture outcomes. Observational studies are generally consistent in finding harm from either dietary or supplemental retinol intake on BMD and hip fracture risk. Total Vit A intake is more important than source in determining harm. Adverse effects may occur at a level of retinol intake that is only about twice the current recommendation for adult females.
It is not yet possible to set a specific level of retinol intake above which bone health is compromised. Pending further investigation, Vit A supplements should not be used with the express goal of improving bone health.

Crandall C
J Womens Health (Larchmt) Oct 2004
PMID: 15671709

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin as preformed Vitamin A (Retinol Activity Equivalents) is 700 mcg (or 2,333 IU). This article suggests that twice that, or 4666 IU, increases fracture risk.

Vitamin A Not Associated with Bone Density or Fracture in 2016 Perimenopausal Danish Women


No effect of vitamin A intake on bone mineral density and fracture risk in perimenopausal women.

In recent studies from Sweden and the United States, a high vitamin A intake has been associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased fracture risk. In Sweden and the United States, food items such as milk and breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin A, whereas in Denmark there is no mandatory fortification with vitamin A. In the present study, we investigated relations between vitamin A intake and BMD and fracture risk in a Danish population consuming mostly unfortified food items. Within a population-based cohort study in 2,016 perimenopausal women, associations between BMD and vitamin A intake were assessed at baseline and after 5-year follow-up. Moreover, associations between baseline vitamin A intake and 5-year changes in BMD were studied. Finally, fracture risk was assessed in relation to vitamin A intake. In our cohort, dietary retinol intake (0.53 mg/day) was lower than the intake reported in recent studies form Sweden (0.78 mg/day) and the United States (1.66 mg/day). Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses showed no associations between intake of vitamin A and BMD of the femoral neck or lumbar spine. Neither did BMD differ between those 5% who had the highest, and those 5% who had the lowest, vitamin A intake. During the 5-year study period, 163 subjects sustained a fracture (cases). Compared to 978 controls, logistic regression analyses revealed no difference in vitamin A intake. Thus, in a Danish population, average vitamin A intake is lower than in Sweden and the United States and not associated with detrimental effects on bone.

Rejnmark L, Vestergaard P, Charles P, Hermann AP…
Osteoporos Int Nov 2004
PMID: 15034644

Nutrients Correlated With Bone Density


[Validation of questionnaires for the study of food habits and bone mass].

The loss of bone mass and density is influenced by nutritional factors that act on the bone mass peak, age-related bone loss and muscle strength. The objective of the present study was to validate a food frequency questionnaire applied to estimate the relationship between food habits and bone mineral density (BMD) in a healthy adult population.
The results of the food frequency questionnaire were compared with 24-hr recall findings. Calcaneus BMD was measured by densitometry.
The validity of the questionnaire was demonstrated, with Spearman correlation coefficients of 0.014 to 0.467. The Bland-Altman test also found no differences in study variables between the two methods. Correlation analysis showed that the BMD was significantly associated with the intake of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, folate, thiamine and iron. Total fat consumption was not associated with BMD but the intake of monounsaturated fatty acids, EPA, DHA and cholesterol showed a significant correlation.
The questionnaire evaluates the consumption of energy and nutrients with adequate validity. Its application revealed the importance for bone health of a diet rich in B-group vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, iron, monounsaturated fatty acids and n-3.

Rivas A, Romero A, Mariscal M, Monteagudo C…
Nutr Hosp
PMID: 19893861 | Free Full Text | Full Text English Translation

The full text has a very interesting chart with a list of nutrients and their correlation with bone density.

Fish Consumption Helps Maintain Bone in Spanish Women – 2013


Dietary habits, nutrients and bone mass in Spanish premenopausal women: the contribution of fish to better bone health.

The moderate consumption of fish is recommended for a healthy diet and is also a feature of the Mediterranean diet. Fish is a major food group in diets throughout the world, and studies show that fish consumption is associated with a lower risk of a number of conditions. Spain has one of the highest annual per capita consumptions of fish worldwide. As fish is a source of high quality protein; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; vitamins, such as A and D; and minerals, such as selenium, calcium, iodine, magnesium, copper and zinc, nutrients that have positive effects on bone characteristics, it has been proposed that its consumption could improve bone health. In this cross-sectional study, we have investigated the relationship between dietary habits and nutrient intake of 151 Spanish premenopausal women and analyzed the association of fish consumption on bone mass measured by quantitative ultrasound of the phalanges. A higher (P < 0.05) bone mass and vitamin D intake (P < 0.05) was observed in the group with a fish intake of 5-7 servings/week. We conclude that increased fish consumption is helpful in maintaining an adequate bone mass in Spanish premenopausal women.

Calderon-Garcia JF, Moran JM, Roncero-Martin R, Rey-Sanchez P…
Nutrients Jan 2013
PMID: 23271510 | Free Full Text