Postmenopausal women who were vitamin D deficient and had high serum levels of retinol had an eight times higher risk of having osteoporosis. A high retinol level together with vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is an additional risk factor for osteoporosis.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency and excess of vitamin A intake as an osteoporosis risk factor in healthy postmenopausal women
Design: The design is a cross-sectional study of 232 healthy postmenopausal women.
Methods: Bone mass was evaluated by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum calcium, albumin phosphorus, creatinine, total high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides analyzed by standard methods and retinol and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] measured by an online solid-phase extraction coupled with high-pressure liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection.
Results: Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL] was 70.1 %; 14.3 % had a 25(OH)D < 10 ng/mL, and 23.6 % had insufficiency [25(OH)D 21-29 ng/mL]. Prevalence of high serum levels of retinol (>80 μg/dL) was 36.4 %. Among subjects with 25(OH)D <20 ng/mL (n = 152), 60.4 % (n = 92) had serum levels of retinol > 80 μg/dL. Bone density measurements revealed that the risk of osteoporosis was ~8 times higher in women with the highest retinol levels, as compared with women with the lowest retinol levels. In women with 25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL, the risk for osteoporosis increased substantially in women who had the highest blood levels of retinol compared to the women with lowest retinol levels.
Conclusions: Higher retinol levels together with vitamin D deficiency could be a significant additional risk factor for osteoporosis, underscoring the need for improved physician and public education regarding optimization of vitamin D status in postmenopausal women and developing policies to avoid high serum levels of vitamin A.