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: Poor bone health may start early in people with multiple sclerosis

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

New target could eliminate lurking cancer stem cells

November 27, 2015

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have identified a novel target that could help to identify 'cancer stem cells' while they are in their inactive state. The scientists could then jolt these cells into action so that ...

New class of RNA tumor suppressors identified

November 23, 2015

A pair of RNA molecules originally thought to be no more than cellular housekeepers are deleted in over a quarter of common human cancers, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Breast cancer ...

Batten disease may benefit from gene therapy

November 11, 2015

In a study of dogs, scientists showed that a new way to deliver replacement genes may be effective at slowing the development of childhood Batten disease, a rare and fatal neurological disorder. The key may be to inject viruses ...


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.