Low vitamin E linked to increased risk of bone fracture

26 February 2016  |  Editor

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Vitamin E can help prevent bone fractures

Results of two large scale studies in Sweden have confirmed the link between vitamin E intake and rate of bone fractures.

The studies involved (the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men) investigated possible links between alpha tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) intake and serum concentration levels and bone fractures in elderly men and women.

Researchers found low intake and serum levels were associated with an increased rate of bone fractures whilst alpha tocopherol containing supplement use was linked with a reduced rate of hip fractures.

Tocopherols and tocotrienols make up a group of compounds collectively known as vitamin E.  Alpha tocopherol is the most biologically active tocopherol and is commonly found in vitamin E supplements.

Vitamin E is one of many antioxidant nutrients required for bone health.  We generally think of calcium as being the primary nutrient needed for healthy bones yet myriad other nutrients including magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc and boron are equally as important. 

A good balance of dietary protein is also required to form the honeycomb shaped matrix inside bones onto which the minerals are deposited.

Vitamin E is frequently lost in food processing and intake levels are low in the standard Western diet.  Cold pressed seed oils, wheatgerm, sunflower seeds, almonds and avocadoes are all excellent food sources.  Combining these foods with brightly coloured vegetables, fruits and other nuts and seeds provides a whole spectrum of antioxidant nutrients that support bone formation and strength, helping to reduce the risk of fractures and damage at any age.