The researchers have found out that calcium and vitamin D deficiencies lead to a bigger risk of osteoporosis and also poor bone health. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The team of the researchers studied inadequate nutrient intake and the relationship to poor bone health, especially the risk of osteoporosis. They examined the relationship between markers of poverty along with calcium and vitamin D intake and osteoporosis in Americans, 50 years, and older.
"This study continues to demonstrate how prevalent nutrient deficiency is among the US population, and even more so, among lower-income individuals and those with food insecurities," said Susan Hazels Mitmesser from Pharmavite LLC, the makers of nature made vitamins, minerals and supplements, who conducted the study. "Yet, we know that nutrient adequacy is imperative in supporting overall health and wellness, including immune health, at a time when that is heavy on everyone's mind," she added.
Vitamin D Deficiencies Cause Osteoporosis
According to the study, 25 percent of older US people live below the poverty line. Within this population, 68 percent have inadequate calcium intake, and 46 percent have inadequate vitamin D intake. Gender, ethnic, and socio-economic differences impact the overall risk for inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake and subsequent osteoporosis risk, as seen in some of the study's key findings.
The findings also showed that US women over the age of 50 consistently have inadequate calcium intake, regardless of their economic status. Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D affects poverty-stricken men more than women with respect to osteoporosis risk.
It has been estimated in the US population aged 50 and older, about 10.2 million suffer from osteoporosis, and 80 percent of these affected cases are females. In addition, there are potentially 43.4 million people, or 44 percent of the population with osteopenia, which is a bone condition that often leads to osteoporosis.
"Improving the consumption of nutrient-rich and fortified foods among individuals that live in poverty can help to decrease their chances of developing osteoporosis," the study authors wrote. "Additionally, dietary supplements can play a critical role in helping any underserved population meet their nutrition needs," they noted.
(With agency inputs)