Los Angeles Times—June 6, 2011
The study adds to the evidence that the current recommendations for vitamin D may be too low. Late last year, the Institute of Medicine issued a report that declined to make changes to the recommendation -- despite many new studies supporting the need for more vitamin D than is typically consumed.
In the new study, presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, researchers found that having a circulating vitamin D level greater than 33 nanograms per milliliter was linked to a seven times greater likelihood of having a good response to bisphosphonates.
Bisphosphonates include medications such as Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel. The standard vitamin D blood test measures a component called 25-hydroxy vitamin D.
According to the IOM report, levels of 20 ng/ml to 30 ng/ml are adequate for most normal, healthy adults.
However, in the study, 83% of people with vitamin D levels less than 20 ng/ml had a poor response to bisphosphonates compared with 77% of people with levels between 20 ng/ml and 30 ng/ml, 42% of people with levels of 30 ng/ml to 40 ng/ml and 24% of those exceeding 40 ng/ml.
"There has been a lot of controversy over the correct vitamin D levels for people to have," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Richard Bockman, chief of the endocrine service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, in a news release. "Vitamin D status should be optimized to improve outcomes in patients taking bisphosphonates."
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