Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 103, Issue 5, pp 522–528 | Cite as

Vitamin D Intake and Magnetic Resonance Parameters for Knee Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

  • Nicola Veronese
  • Luciana La Tegola
  • Maria Mattera
  • Stefania Maggi
  • Giuseppe GuglielmiEmail author
Original Research



There is evidence that vitamin D may play a role in the osteoarthritis (OA) pathogenesis, but the few data available are limited to X-rays and clinical findings. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a higher intake of vitamin D was associated with a better architecture of the cartilage of the knee, assessed with magnetic resonance (MRI), in a large cohort from North America.


783 participants (59.8% females; mean age: 62.3 years) with an MRI assessment from the Osteoarthritis Initiative were included. Vitamin D dietary intake was calculated as the sum of food and oral supplementation. A coronal 3D FLASH with Water Excitation MR sequence of the right knees was used. The strength of the association between dietary vitamin D intake and knee MRI parameters was investigated through an adjusted linear regression analysis, reported as standardized betas with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Using a linear regression analysis, adjusted for ten potential confounders, higher vitamin D intake (reported as an increase in one standard deviation, = 250 IU) corresponded to significantly higher values of mean cartilage thickness and volume of cartilage at medial tibia, volume of cartilage and mean cartilage thickness at central lateral femur, volume of cartilage and mean cartilage thickness at central medial femur, and volume of cartilage and mean cartilage thickness at central medial tibial-femoral compartment.


Higher vitamin D intake is associated with a significantly better architecture of the cartilage of the knee, also independently taking in account from several potential confounders.


Knee osteoarthritis Vitamin D Diet MRI Aged Healthy aging Lifestyle 



The OAI is a public–private partnership comprising five contracts (N01-AR-2-2258; N01-AR-2-2259; N01-AR-2-2260; N01-AR-2-2261; N01-AR-2-2262) funded by the National Institutes of Health, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, and conducted by the OAI Study Investigators. Private funding partners include Merck Research Laboratories, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, Inc. Private sector funding for the OAI is managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. This manuscript was prepared using an OAI public use data set and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the OAI investigators, the NIH, or the private funding partners.

Conflict of interest

N. Veronese, L. La Tegola, M. Mattera, S. Maggi and G. Guglielmi declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Supplementary material

223_2018_448_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research CouncilNeuroscience Institute, Aging BranchPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversità degli Studi di Foggia Scuole di Specializzazione di Area MedicaFoggia, PugliaItaly
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyScientific Institute “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” HospitalSan Giovanni RotondoItaly

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