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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Gene variant that dramatically reduces 'bad' lipids

Sep 16, 2014

In the first study to emerge from the UK10K Project's cohort of samples from the general public, scientists have identified a rare genetic variant that dramatically reduces levels of certain types of lipids in the blood. ...

New diagnostic method identifies genetic diseases

Sep 16, 2014

People with genetic diseases often have to embark on an odyssey from one doctor to the next. Fewer than half of all patients who are suspected of having a genetic disease actually receive a satisfactory diagnosis. Scientists ...

User comments