Vitamin D (2017) & Osteoporosis


Learn more about osteoporosis.


Understanding that vitamin D is be helpful for patients with osteoporosis, researchers investigated use of vitamin D in patients who were receiving drug treatment (denosumab). They compared used of vitamin D and calcium with patients with both osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Denosumab is a drug therapy for post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. It was approved for clinical use in 2010.1 Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance between the degree to which minerals are absorbed from bones into the body and minerals are formed in the bones resulting in a net loss.

The study was a 12 month look at patients with osteoporosis who also had rheumatoid arthritis, and who were taking denosumab compared to placebo. There were 21-22 people in each test group.

A number of standard testing was performed to measure the condition of bone structure including bone mineral density at both the lumbar part of the spine and the bone at the hips. Researchers also took into account other factors such as other biochemical markers, an overall health assessment, and an activity assessment.

Measurements were made at hip and lumbar were taken at the beginning of the study and every four months.

The researchers reported that compared to the denosumab-only group, the group receiving both vitamin D and calcium had substantial improvement. The improvement in the hip bone measurements was significant.

Researchers: Y. Nakamura, T. Suzuki, et al
Published: Vitamin D and Calcium Are Required during Denosumab Treatment in Osteoporosis with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Nutrients, April, 2017.


1. M.R. McClung, Denosumab for the treatment of osteoporosis, Osteoporosis and Sarcopenia, March 2017.