Low vitamin D increases back pain in postmenopause
Bone density declines with age, a trend that accelerates after menopause. In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 232 postmenopausal women, average age 65, with low back pain and lumbar spine degenerative disease. The average level of vitamin D was below the optimal range of 20 to 60 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) or 50 to 150 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).
Women who were severely deficient in vitamin D, with levels below 8 ng/mL or 20 nmol/L, reported the most back pain, had the greatest degeneration in lumbar discs, and the lowest bone mineral density. As women progressed from normal density to osteopenia and osteoporosis, levels of vitamin D declined.
Reference: Menopause; February, 2020, e97235, Published Online
Vitamin D improves mobility after hip surgery
When older people are deficient in vitamin D, they are less likely to regain the ability to walk independently after hip fracture surgery. This study involved 290 men and women, average age 82, with average body mass index scores of 25, 73 percent of whom had a surgical hip fracture repair.
Compared to those with vitamin D levels below 12 ng/mL or 30 nmol/L, those with higher vitamin D levels had higher rates of walking independently at 30 and 60 days after hip surgery. Those with lower-quality diets had reduced mobility 30 days after hip surgery compared to those with higher quality diets.
Discussing the findings, doctors said vitamin D is a stronger predictor than diet quality in recovering independent mobility after hip surgery.
Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; February, 2020, nqaa029, Published Online