Vitamin D and osteoporosis

Peter R. Ebeling, John A. Eisman

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The major effects of vitamin D on the skeleton are recognized in deficiency states as the failure of normal mineralization of bone. The presence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in bone cells suggests direct effects on bone. These receptors are expressed in osteoblasts and in immature cells of the osteoclast precursor lineage. It was proposed some time ago that the effect of the active vitamin D metabolites on osteoclasts was indirect via osteoblasts. Treatment with the combination of calcium and vitamin D prevents bone loss and results in small increases in bone mineral density (BMD) at most sites. For long-term maintenance of BMD up to five years, the combination of calcium and vitamin D appears to be better than calcium alone. These skeletal benefits of calcium and vitamin D may be maintained at some, but not all, skeletal sites after withdrawal. However, there are no data to suggest that vitamin D alone is effective in maintaining or in increasing BMD. The addition of vitamin D to calcium is also likely to reduce the risk of falling, particularly in winter, in patients with a history of falling and vitamin D insufficiency. This may result in a reduction of falls-related fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVitamin D
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780123819796
ISBN (Print)9780123819789, 9780123870346
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes
  • Vitamin D and osteoporosis

    Ebeling, P. R., 2024, Feldman and Pike's Vitamin D: Volume Two: Disease and Therapeutics. Hewison, M., Bouillon, R., Giovannucci, E., Goltzman, D., Meyer, M. & Welsh, J. (eds.). 5th ed. United Kingdom: Elsevier - Mosby, Vol. 2. p. 411-433 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

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