The jury is still out on whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent and improve knee osteoarthritis, according to a review published in ACR Open Rheumatology.
The review, published in July by Behzad Heidari and Mansour Babaei of Iran, highlights holes in research that need further investigation before definitive treatment recommendations with vitamin D suplementation can be made.
The analysis is based on a review of 23 studies on vitamin D and knee osteoarthritis that were published in Medline/PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar since 2000. A few of the studies included in the review demonstrated that vitamin D does have therapeutic potential for knee osteoarthritis. Only one study showed a true benefit on pain and function and others are inconsistent, but promising deserving of further exploration in follow-up studies.
Researchers found inconsistent results on the effect of vitamin D on knee osteoarthritis which may be due to inconsistencies in the degree of knee osteoarthritis of patients included in the studies, the baseline level of serum vitamin D, the duration of treatment, vitamin D dosages, and other variables such as age, sex, vitamin D deficiency.
"Given the multiple skeletal and extraskeletal benefits of vitamin D supplementation in elderly people, the issue of vitamin D supplementation in knee osteoarthritis requires further study to elucidate the dosage and duration of treat-ment that provides the most effective therapeutic effect," the authors wrote.
But these findings don't suggest that vitamin D supplementation is harmful. Instead, the authors wrote that the data suggest a beneficial effect of high‐dose vitamin D supplementation on pain, muscle strength, and quality of life in knee osteoarthritis, without a radiographic or MRI‐detectable improvement on structural changes. And, vitamin D deficiency with worsening symptoms and progression shown in radiographs, may benefit from supplementation in order to maintain serum 25(OH) D levels.
Behzad Heidar and Mansour Babaei. "Therapeutic and Preventive Potential of Vitamin D Supplementation in Knee Osteoarthritis," ACR Open Rheumatology. Vol. 1,