B-vitamins and bone health--a review of the current evidence

Nutrients. 2015 May 7;7(5):3322-46. doi: 10.3390/nu7053322.


Because of ongoing global ageing, there is a rapid worldwide increase in incidence of osteoporotic fractures and the resultant morbidity and mortality associated with these fractures are expected to create a substantial economic burden. Dietary modification is one effective approach for prevention of osteoporosis in the general population. Recently, B vitamins have been investigated for their possible roles in bone health in human studies. In this review, we provide different lines of evidence and potential mechanisms of individual B vitamin in influencing bone structure, bone quality, bone mass and fracture risk from published peer-reviewed articles. These data support a possible protective role of B vitamins, particularly, B2, B6, folate and B12, in bone health. However, results from the clinical trials have not been promising in supporting the efficacy of B vitamin supplementation in fracture reduction. Future research should continue to investigate the underlying mechanistic pathways and consider interventional studies using dietary regimens with vitamin B enriched foods to avoid potential adverse effects of high-dose vitamin B supplementation. In addition, observational and interventional studies conducted in Asia are limited and thus require more attention due to a steep rise of osteoporosis and hip fracture incidence projected in this part of the world.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Vitamin B Complex