Evidence-Based Medicine
Copyright ©2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Pharmacol. Dec 9, 2014; 3(4): 199-208
Published online Dec 9, 2014. doi: 10.5497/wjp.v3.i4.199
Vitamin D and bone fracture healing
Marks Ray
Marks Ray, Department of Health, Physical Education, Gerontological Studies and Services, School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, City University of New York, York College, New York, NY 11451, United States
Marks Ray, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, United States
Author contributions: Ray M contributed to this paper.
Correspondence to: Dr. Marks Ray, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 114, 525W, 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, United States. rm226@columbia.edu
Telephone: +1-212-6783445 Fax: +1-212-6788259
Received: July 28, 2014
Revised: September 22, 2014
Accepted: October 14, 2014
Published online: December 9, 2014

AIM: To examine whether vitamin D is of potential relevance in the healing process of fractures.

METHODS: The present narrative review examined the bulk of the evidence based literature on the topic of vitamin D and bone healing in key electronic data bases from 1980 onwards using the terms vitamin D and bone healing, callus, fracture healing. All data were examined carefully and categorized according to type of study. A summary of the diverse terms and approaches employed in the research, as well as the rationale for hypothesizing vitamin D has a role in fracture healing was detailed.

RESULTS: The results show very few human studies have been conducted to examine if vitamin D is effective at promoting post fracture healing, and the different animal models that have been studied provide no consensus on this topic. The terms used in the related literature, as well as the methods used to arrive at conclusions on this clinical issue are highly diverse, there is no standardization of either of these important terms and methodologies, hence no conclusive statements or clinical guidelines can be forthcoming. There is a strong rational for continuing to examine if vitamin D supplements should be administered post-fracture, and ample evidence vitamin D is an essential hormone for functioning in general, as well as bone health and muscle as this relates to bone density.

CONCLUSION: Whether those with low vitamin D levels can benefit from supplements if their nutritional practices do not cover recommended daily amounts, remains in question.

Keywords: Bone healing, Callus formation, Fractures, Fracture healing, Vitamin D

Core tip: This work describes the status of research on the role of vitamin D in bone healing, and offers suggestions for future research and current clinical practice.