According to a new US study, adequate vitamin D intakes may support the prevention of stress fractures in girls.
To identify which nutritional behavior might decrease stress fracture risk, the dietary intakes of calcium, vitamin D and dairy of 6,712 preadolescent and adolescent girls (ages 9 to 15) and the stress fracture incidents among these girls were documented over the course of seven years (1). The study results showed that adequate vitamin D intake was associated with a lower risk of developing a stress fracture, particularly among the girls who participated in at least one hour of high-impact activity a day. In contrast, dairy and calcium intakes were unrelated to stress fracture risk.
The researchers commented that these findings support the Institute of Medicine’s recent increase in the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for adolescents from 400 IU /d to 600 IU /d. Further studies would be needed to ascertain whether vitamin D intake from supplements would confer a similarly protective effect as vitamin D consumed through dietary intake.
Stress fractures, a relatively common sports-related injury, occur when stresses on a bone exceed its capacity to withstand and heal from those forces. At present, consumption of calcium and calcium-rich dairy products is routinely encouraged for prevention of stress fractures.