Vitamin D Prevents Knee Osteoarthritis

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with the loss of cartilage in the knee joint of older individuals, according to research. Cartilage loss is the hallmark of osteoarthritis.

The researchers found that osteoarthritis patients with vitamin D sufficiency have approximately 1.5 percent less loss of knee cartilage per year than patients with vitamin D deficiency. The investigators measured the levels of vitamin D in blood samples, as well as the knee cartilage volume on X-rays, of nearly 900 men and women. The team then took similar measurements again almost 3 years later for about 350 of the study participants.

Overall, 58 percent of these subjects showed changes in knee cartilage indicating worsening osteoarthritis. But both at the beginning of the study enrollment and at follow up, men and women with vitamin D deficiency had lower knee cartilage volume and were more likely to experience knee pain.

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