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Osteoporos Int. 2004 Nov;15(11):872-80. Epub 2004 Mar 18.

No effect of vitamin A intake on bone mineral density and fracture risk in perimenopausal women.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism C, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Aarhus University Hospital, Tage-Hansens Gade 2, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark. rejnmark@post6.tele.dk

Abstract

In recent studies from Sweden and the United States, a high vitamin A intake has been associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased fracture risk. In Sweden and the United States, food items such as milk and breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin A, whereas in Denmark there is no mandatory fortification with vitamin A. In the present study, we investigated relations between vitamin A intake and BMD and fracture risk in a Danish population consuming mostly unfortified food items. Within a population-based cohort study in 2,016 perimenopausal women, associations between BMD and vitamin A intake were assessed at baseline and after 5-year follow-up. Moreover, associations between baseline vitamin A intake and 5-year changes in BMD were studied. Finally, fracture risk was assessed in relation to vitamin A intake. In our cohort, dietary retinol intake (0.53 mg/day) was lower than the intake reported in recent studies form Sweden (0.78 mg/day) and the United States (1.66 mg/day). Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses showed no associations between intake of vitamin A and BMD of the femoral neck or lumbar spine. Neither did BMD differ between those 5% who had the highest, and those 5% who had the lowest, vitamin A intake. During the 5-year study period, 163 subjects sustained a fracture (cases). Compared to 978 controls, logistic regression analyses revealed no difference in vitamin A intake. Thus, in a Danish population, average vitamin A intake is lower than in Sweden and the United States and not associated with detrimental effects on bone.

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