Vitamin A intake, serum vitamin D and bone mineral density: analysis of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2008-2011)

Nutrients. 2015 Mar 10;7(3):1716-27. doi: 10.3390/nu7031716.


The association of high vitamin A intake and low bone mineral density (BMD) is still controversial. To determine the association of dietary vitamin A intake and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration with BMD, a total of 6481 subjects (2907 men and 3574 women) aged ≥50 years from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008-2011) were divided into groups according to dietary vitamin A intake (tertiles) and serum 25(OH)D (<50, 50-75, >75 nmol/L), and evaluated for BMD after adjusting for relevant variables. Mean dietary vitamin A intakes were 737 and 600 μg RE (Retinol Equivalents) in men and women, respectively. Total hip and femoral neck BMD in men and lumbar spine BMD in women were both positively correlated with dietary vitamin A intake in subjects with serum 25(OH)D >75 nmol/L. Among men with serum 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L, both the top (mean 1353 μg RE) and bottom (mean 218 μg RE) tertiles of dietary vitamin A intake had lower BMD than the middle group (mean 577 μg RE). In this population, BMD was the highest among men and women with serum 25(OH)D = 50-75 nmol/L and that there were no differences in BMD by vitamin A intake in these vitamin D adequate groups. This cross-sectional study indicates that vitamin A intake does not affect bone mineral density as long as the serum 25(OH)D concentration is maintained in the moderate level of 50-75 nmol/L.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism
  • Republic of Korea
  • Vitamin A / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamins* / blood
  • Vitamins* / pharmacology


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D