In 15 of the studies the mean baseline vitamin D level was over 50 nmol/l which is higher than values seen in a significant number of Canadian men and women particularly during the winter months. In 1 study of adult Canadians who were not using vitamin D supplements, 34% had evidence of vitamin D insufficiency with vitamin D levels below 40 nmol/L.
The meta analysis completed by Reid and colleagues did not show an effect of vitamin D supplements on bone mineral density.
It is important to remember that vitamin D enables optimal calcium absorption from the bowel and inadequate vitamin D results in poor mineralization of the bone in addition to bone loss due to high levels of parathyroid hormone.
The majority of Canadians have inadequate vitamin D levels and do require approximately 400-2000 IU of vitamin D daily to reach a normal vitamin D level. Osteoporosis Canada’s guidelines for vitamin D are safe and are designed to prevent vitamin D deficiency, which is clearly harmful for bone health.
In those with osteoporosis it is necessary to take adequate calcium and vitamin D as well as drug therapy in order to significantly reduce fracture risk.
Osteoporosis Canada’s rapid response team, made up of members of the Scientific Advisory Council, creates position statements as news breaks regarding osteoporosis. The position statements are used to inform both the healthcare professional and the patient. The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) is made up of experts in Osteoporosis and bone metabolism and is a volunteer membership.