Long Term Supplementation with Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) and the Risk of Bone Fractures: A population based study. [ 2007 - 2008 ]

Also known as: Does taking vitamin A supplements increase the risk of bone fractures?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Gina Ambrosini (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Alison Reid Dr Helman Alfonso

Brief description Osteoporosis is a major health problem in Australia and other western industrialised countries where populations are increasingly ageing. In Australia, the number of hip fractures is expected to increase by 36% between 1996 and 2006, owing to the rise in elderly aged 85 years and over. This is in contrast to projections in Europe and North America, where the number of hip fractures are expected to double by 2026 and then stabilise. Clarification of the role of vitamin A in bone health is pertinent, given that the popularity of supplement use has increased markedly in western industrialised countries over the past two decades. Around 37% of the adult population in Australia is thought to take a supplement regularly and figures range from 28% to 54% of adults in the US, with women and adults aged over 49 years being more likely to use supplements. Furthermore, the fortification of food with minerals and vitamins is increasing. For all of these reasons, is it imperative that the role of vitamin A in inducing fractures be clarified. Results from this study will contribute to knowledge about the safety of retinol and beta carotene supplements in relation to bone health, which is especially relevant to people at risk of osteoporosis, and people who take vitamin A supplements. We will also be able to clarify the upper levels of dietary retinol, beta carotene and vitamin A intake beyond which fracture risk increases. Because of the age range of subjects in our study, our results should be applicable to the whole population, not only the elderly or post menopausal. The results of our study will be useful to agencies such as Food Standards Australia and New Zealand which regulates our food supply.

Funding Amount $AUD 167,707.10

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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