Vitamin A and Bone Fractures: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Knapik JJ, Hoedebecke BL 21(2). 100 - 107 (Journal Article)

Vitamin A is a generic term for compounds that have biological activity similar to that of retinol and includes carotenoids like ß-carotene and α-carotene. Some studies suggest high dietary intake of vitamin A can increase bone fracture risk. This investigation involved a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the association between vitamin A and fracture risk. Published literature was searched to find studies that (1) involved human participants, (2) had prospective cohort or case-control study designs, (3) contained original quantitative data on associations between dietary intake of vitamin A and fractures, and (4) provided either risk ratios (RRs), odds ratios (ORs), or hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) comparing various levels of vitamin A consumption to fracture risk. Thirteen studies met the review criteria. Meta-analyses indicated that risk of hip fracture was increased by high dietary intake of total vitamin A (RR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.07-1.57) or retinol (RR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.02-1.48). Hip fracture risk was reduced by high dietary intake of total carotene (RR = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.42-0.93), ß-carotene (RR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.58-0.89), or α-carotene (RR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.67-0.97). Total fracture risk was not associated with any vitamin A compound. High intake of total vitamin A or retinol increased hip fracture risk, while high intake of some carotenoids reduced hip fracture risk.

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