Can a genetic variation in the vitamin D receptor protect against osteoporosis?

©2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Osteoporosis, or reduced bone mineral density that can increase the risk of fractures, may affect as many as 30% of women and 12% of men worldwide. One risk factor for osteoporosis is vitamin D deficiency. A modified form of the vitamin D receptor present in some individuals may lower their risk for developing osteoporosis, according to an article in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.

To act on cells in the body, vitamin D binds to a specific receptor on the surface of cells. A variation in the gene for the vitamin D receptor (called the Bsm I polymorphism) may change this interaction. In the article, "Vitamin D Receptor BSM I Polymorphism and Osteoporosis Risk: A Meta-Analysis from 26 Studies," authors Fu Jia and colleagues, Kunming Medical University and Yunnan University of , Yunnan, People's Republic of China, report that people with this appear to have a significantly decreased risk of developing osteoporosis.

"This meta-analysis provides a pathway to help determine the likelihood that a person may develop osteoporosis and is a good example for the potential application of genetics to clinical medicine," says Kenneth I. Berns, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, and Director of the University of Florida's Genetics Institute, College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL.

More information: The article is available on the Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers website.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications

date Jul 02, 2015

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can't help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared ...

Cause of acute liver failure in young children discovered

date Jul 02, 2015

Acute liver failure is a rare yet life-threatening disease for young children. It often occurs extremely rapidly, for example, when a child has a fever. Yet in around 50 percent of cases it is unclear as to why this happens. ...

Genome sequencing illuminates rare Aicardi syndrome

date Jul 02, 2015

As my inbox fills with ever more updates on the number of human genomes sequenced and the plummeting time and cost of next next next generation sequencing, I find myself hitting delete more and more often. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.