CHICAGO (AP) -- Too much vitamin A may increase the risk of hip fractures in older women, according to a new study that researchers say suggests the need to reevaluate the levels in supplements and fortified food.
Vitamin A is important for such things as healthy skin and hair and bone growth. But in the study published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that women with the highest total intake -- both from food and vitamin supplements -- had double the risk of hip fractures compared with women with the lowest intake.
One theory is that too much vitamin A inhibits the ability of Vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium, said lead author, Diane Feskanich, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She said previous studies also suggest vitamin A affects cells that work in bone remodeling -- the breakdown and rebuilding of bone.
"There is a biologic reason to support what we're observing, but we don't know what those reasons are," said Feskanich, adding that the research confirms the findings of an earlier Swedish study.
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