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

November 29, 2012
©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.

Explore further: Experts recommend men at risk for osteoporosis undergo bone density testing

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

Related Stories

Vitamin D influences racial differences in breast cancer risk

April 4, 2012

American women of African ancestry are more likely than European Americans to have estrogen receptor (ER) negative breast cancer. There continues to be discussion about the role of low levels of vitamin D in the development ...

Secondary osteoporosis: More than what meets the eye

October 9, 2012

An SGH study has revealed that considering all osteoporotic patients as having simple osteoporosis and treating all of them alike by putting them on potent long term medication without finding out the cause of their osteoporosis ...

Recommended for you

Scientists find new genetic roots of schizophrenia

October 19, 2016

UCLA scientists have made a major advance in understanding the biology of schizophrenia. Using a recently developed technology for analyzing DNA, the scientists found dozens of genes and two major biological pathways that ...

Possible miscarriage gene found: study

October 19, 2016

Scientists said Wednesday they had linked mutations in a specific gene with an increased risk of recurrent miscarriages, offering hopes of better diagnosis and treatment for affected women.


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.