Multivitamins Against Osteoporosis

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There is some evidence that eating a balanced diet and consuming extra vitamins, particularly folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 might help ward off osteoporosis. Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, one from the Netherlands and one from the United States, found a strong association between high blood levels of Homocysteine and persons with osteoporotic fractures.

High levels of the amino acid Homocysteine have already been linked to increased risk of heart attack, strokes and dementia. It is felt that Homocysteine may be involved in osteoporosis, perhaps through a negative effect on the bone micro-architecture. Homocysteine could also simply be a marker for some other more important pathological condition or process.

Men and women with high levels of Homocysteine had a greatly increased risk of hip fracture compared to those in the lowest group. Homocysteine concentration could be an important risk factor for hip fracture in older persons.

Homocysteine concentration is easily modifiable by dietary means. Merely taking a multivitamin has been shown to reduce Homocysteine levels significantly, leading some to believe that this alone might justify vitamin supplementation to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Further studies are underway to demonstrate that multivitamins and other dietary interventions actually reduce the incidence of fractures.