Dietary vitamin C and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in Washington State, USA

Suzanne G. Leveille, Andrea Z. LaCroix, Thomas D. Koepsell, Shirley A. Beresford, Gerald Van Belle, David M. Buchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objective - To examine the relationship between dietary vitamin C and hip bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. Design - This was a cross sectional study using retrospective diet and vitamin supplement data. Setting - The Seattle area of Washington State. Participants - Screenees for a clinical trial of a drug to prevent osteoporotic fractures; 1892 women aged 55-80 years who had hip bone densitometry and osteoporosis risk factor information. Main results - Mean energy adjusted dietary intake of vitamin C was 113 mg/day; including supplement use, mean intake was 407 mg/day. There were no differences in BMD according to diet-only vitamin C intake or combined dietary and supplemental vitamin C intake. Longer duration of vitamin C supplement use was associated with higher BMD in women who had not used oestrogen replacement therapy (trend p = 0.02) and among women aged 55-64 years (trend p = 0.01). Women aged 55-64 years who used vitamin C supplements for ≤ 10 years had a higher BMD than non-users aged 55-64 years (multivariate adjusted mean BMD 0.699 (0.017)g/cm2 versus 0.655 (0.007)g/cm2, p= 0.02). Benefits were not evident in older age groups or in women who had used oestrogen in the past. Frequent intake of foods rich in vitamin C was not associated with BMD. Conclusion - There was no evidence that vitamin C from the diet was associated with BMD, although long term use of vitamin C supplements was associated with a higher BMD in the early postmenopausal years and among never users of oestrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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