Vitamin D works with calcium to strengthen bones. But adequate levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream also appear to boost the power of bisphosphonates, medications used to treat osteoporosis, according to research presented Monday.
The study adds to the evidence that the current recommendations for vitamin D may be too low. Late last year, the Institute of Medicine issued a report that declined to make changes to the recommendation -- despite many new studies supporting the need for more vitamin D than is typically consumed.
In the new study, presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, researchers found that having a circulating vitamin D level greater than 33 nanograms per milliliter was linked to a seven times greater likelihood of having a good response to bisphosphonates.
Bisphosphonates include medications such as Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel. The standard vitamin D blood test measures a component called 25-hydroxy vitamin D.