Vitamin D May Prevent Progression of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is considered a disease of the joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of inflammation of the joints (arthritis). Osteoarthritis is related to aging and affects more than 15 million people in the U.S.

As osteoarthritis weakens the cartilage of a joint, the bone underlying the cartilage undergoes changes. Vitamin D assists the body in the absorption of calcium and has been used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis (a condition characterized by bone thinning). It has been suggested that suboptimal vitamin D intake and blood levels might impair the body's normal protection from these bone changes.

Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (1996;125:353-359) suggests that low intake and blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk for progression of osteoarthritis.