Can Vitamin D help prevent the onset of osteoarthritis (OA) or slow joint damage if you already have OA? While study results have been mixed, in general, they suggest that Vitamin D may be protective in OA.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption by the body to enable bone growth and repair. Because osteoarthritis has a bone growth component, researchers have been examining the potential role of vitamin D in osteoarthritis development and progression.
What the Studies Show
Two studies published in 2014 looked at vitamin D levels in the blood of people with or at risk of OA. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that participants with low vitamin D levels had a more than 2-fold elevated risk of knee OA progression compared with those with greater vitamin D concentrations. The other, published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, found that among older adults, moderate vitamin D deficiency predicted new or worsening knee pain over 5 years.