Lack of vitamin D is a public health failure, experts say


A few days ago it was held in Spain the meeting ‘Vitamin D: Controversies and evidence 2021’. An event in which different health specialists from the country participated and spoke about the medical use of the vitamin D on Spain and especially for the prevention of osteoporosis.

In this sense, the internist Francisco López Medrano, of the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid, has called a “failure of public health” the lack of prevention of osteoporotic fractures. According to this specialist, drugs such as vitamin D are used when it is too late.

Dr. López Medrano assures that prevention in medicine would save billions of euros, as well as an improvement in the quality of life of patients. Therefore, he asks Primary Care physicians to monitor vitamin D levels and treat hypovitaminosis.

Along these lines, he recalls that “all the trials that have demonstrated the efficacy of osteoporosis treatments are done in combination with vitamin D and calcium.”

Vitamin D against osteoporosis

The meeting ‘Vitamin D: Controversies and evidence 2021’ has been organized by the National Association of Health Informants (ANISE), where the treasurer of the Spanish Association with Osteoporosis and Arthrosis (AECOSAR), Carmen Sánchez, has also been present.

osteoporosis patient
Osteoporosis patient

Thus, Carmen Sánchez has also focused on the same issue as Dr. López Medrano, explaining that through blood tests it is possible to control the vitamin D levels of each patient.

“Vitamin D is essential for the prevention of falls and fractures, but most do not know its importance in osteoporosis,” says Sánchez.

Along the same lines, the expert in osteoporosis points out that “people with osteoporosis think that they take too many pills; in addition, there is a belief that herbal products are better because they are more natural, a sign of ignorance of the importance of vitamin D to strengthen bone.

More information for the patient

In this conference on vitamin D, health professionals have claimed to provide more information for patients by health workers. Among other aspects, they remember that the skin loses the ability to synthesize vitamin D with aging, so exposure to the sun is not enough.

“If the patient becomes involved in his health, it will be more difficult for him to abandon the drug, but he must know that the treatments are long and that the benefits are not going to be noticed in the short term”, comments Carmen Sánchez.

Finally, Dr. López Medrano wants to make it clear that when talking about this vitamin “we are referring to 4 or 5 molecules in particular.” Thus, this specialist in the field tries to explain the complexity of the synthesis of this micronutrient in the body.

«What is synthesized in the skin by the rays of the sun and with food is cholecalciferol; on the other hand, there is an intermediate form that is synthesized in the liver, but which is actually what we measure in blood, which is calcidiol. This is not the active form, since the active form is the one that is synthesized in the kidney and other organs, which is called cypriol. They are not exactly the same ”, concludes Dr. López.

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