The Benefits of Vitamin D for Osteoarthritis Patients
In the United Kingdom, 9 million people have sought treatments for osteoarthritis. This represents 25% of people aged 45 years and over.
Osteoarthritis is considered an affliction of the joint cartilage that impedes free movement and leads to pain. It is directly related to aging and tends to get progressively worse over time. When taken regularly, supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis in the early stages. Other supplements are regularly studied for their beneficial effects on early osteoarthritis. Vitamin D is one such supplement that shows promise.
As osteoarthritis weakens the joint cartilage, the underlying bone undergoes structural changes. Sub-optimal levels of vitamin D in the blood impairs the body’s normal ability to protect the affected bone from thinning. This condition is sometimes referred to as degenerative bone spur.
Additionally, research published as far back as 1996 in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that low levels of vitamin D in the blood stream are associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis. Timothy E. McAlindon, M.D. and his associates studied 556 patients with an average age of 70 years. They concluded that in the case of knee osteoarthritis, those with low levels of Vitamin D had a higher risk for worsening osteoarthritis. Many arthritis patients that suffer from vitamin D deficiencies end up getting knee replacement surgeries. In fact, over 700,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States each year. Dr. McAlindon and his team also concluded that low Vitamin D levels correlated with a loss of cartilage and degenerative bony spur.
For those diagnosed with osteoarthritis, an increase in vitamin D supplementation or exposure to the sunlight could result in substantial health benefits.
- Flexable Health