Vitamin D deficiency worsens osteoarthritis
If you've been noticing that your joints are a bit creakier and stiffer as you get older, you may be experiencing the beginnings of osteoarthritis. This painful disorder is caused by the deterioration of the natural cushioning that surrounds the joints, allowing the bones to rub together. An estimated 27 million people worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis.
Now, a study has shown that people with osteoarthritis who are deficient in vitamin D are more vulnerable to their condition worsening. Conducted at Tufts University, the study recruited 418 volunteers who were already showing signs of osteoarthritis of the knee. The researchers measured the volunteers' blood levels of vitamin D and tracked the progression of the disease over a four-year period.
They found that volunteers whose vitamin D levels were low were more than twice as likely to see their condition worsen over the course of the study period than those who had sufficient levels of the vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as having less than 15 nanograms per milliliter of vitamin D in the bloodstream. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a daily vitamin D intake of 600 international units (IU) for people under the age of 70 and 800 IU for those over 70.
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