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Low Vitamin D Levels Inhibit Bisphosphonates

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The current recommendation for vitamin D may be too low, says the L.A. Times. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report saying between 20 and 30 nanograms (ng) of vitamin D per milliliter (ml) of blood is adequate for most healthy adults.

However, a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society shows patients with levels greater than 33 per milliliter were seven times more likely to experience favorable treatment while taking osteoporosis medications called bisphosphonates.

Researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery assessed the medical records of 160 patients. The data revealed 83 percent of patients with vitamin D levels less than 20 ng/ml experienced a low response to osteoporosis medication compared to 77 percent of those with levels between 20 ng/ml and 30 ng/ml, 42 percent of people with levels of 30 ng/ml to 40 ng/ml and 24 percent of those exceeding 40 ng/ml, reported the Times.
There is controversy over the correct recommendation for vitamin D levels. Many researchers are advocating for higher levels.
“Vitamin D status should be optimized to improve outcomes in patients taking bisphosphonates [osteoporosis medication],” said Dr. Richard Bockman, chief of the endocrine service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Brand-names of osteoporosis medication include Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel.

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