Sufficient Plasma Vitamin C Is Related to Greater Bone Mineral Density among Postmenopausal Women from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.
J Nutr. 2021 Sep 11. Epub 2021 Sep 11. PMID: 34510185
Kelsey M Mangano
BACKGROUND: Vitamin C may benefit bone as an antioxidant.
OBJECTIVES: This cross-sectional study evaluated associations between dietary, supplemental, and plasma vitamin C with bone mineral density (BMD) among Puerto Rican adults.
METHODS: Diet was assessed by food-frequency questionnaire (n = 902); plasma vitamin C, measured in fasting blood (n = 809), was categorized as sufficient (≥50 μmol/L), insufficient (20-49 μmol/L), or low (<20μmol/L). Associations between vitamin C and BMD (measured by DXA) were tested, with false discovery rate correction for multiple comparisons, and interactions by smoking, sex, and estrogen status. Least-squares mean BMDs were compared across tertiles of diet and plasma vitamin C.
RESULTS: Participants' mean age was 59 ± 7 y (range: 46-78 y), 72% were women, mean dietary vitamin C was 95 ± 62 mg/d, and plasma vitamin C ranged from 1.7 to 125 μmol/L. No associations were observed between dietary vitamin C and BMD (P-value range: 0.48-0.96). BMD did not differ by vitamin C supplement use (P-value range: 0.07-0.29). Total femur BMD was higher (P = 0.04) among plasma vitamin C-sufficient participants (mean: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.035, 1.076 g/cm2) compared with low plasma vitamin C participants (1.026; 0.999, 1.052 g/cm2) in adjusted models. Findings at the trochanter were similar (P = 0.04). Postmenopausal women without estrogen therapy, with sufficient plasma vitamin C, showed greater total femur BMD (1.004 ± 0.014 g/cm2) compared to those with low plasma vitamin C (0.955 ± 0.017 g/cm2; P = 0.001). Similar findings were observed at the trochanter (P< 0.001). No significant associations were observed among premenopausal women or those with estrogen therapy or men. Interactions with smoking status were not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Dietary vitamin C was not associated with BMD. Low plasma vitamin C, compared with sufficiency, was associated with lower hip BMD, particularly among postmenopausal women without estrogen therapy. Future research is needed to determine whether vitamin C status is associated with change in BMD or reduction in fracture risk.