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Low vitamin D levels raise chances for osteoarthritis

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 418 people with osteoarthritis (OA) in one or both knees, and tracked joint-space narrowing—a sign of the progress of OA as the joints lose their protective cartilage— over two to four years of follow-up. The average vitamin D level for all participants was 26.2 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL).

Those whose vitamin D levels fell below 15 ng/mL were twice as likely to see OA worsen over the follow-up period compared to those with higher vitamin D levels. Doctors consider vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL as insufficient, and levels from 20 to 60 ng/mL as optimal.

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