Osteoporosis International

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 2329–2337 | Cite as

Favorable effect of dietary vitamin C on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (KNHANES IV, 2009): discrepancies regarding skeletal sites, age, and vitamin D status

  • Y. A. Kim
  • K. M. Kim
  • S. Lim
  • S. H. Choi
  • J. H. Moon
  • J. H. Kim
  • S. W. Kim
  • H. C. JangEmail author
  • C. S. ShinEmail author
Original Article



Dietary vitamin C intake showed significant positive associations with BMD in postmenopausal women, especially with vitamin D deficiency.


Although there is a positive role of vitamin C in osteoblastogenesis, debate remains about the contribution of vitamin C to bone mineral density (BMD) in humans.


Data were derived from the Fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Dietary information was assessed using a 24-h dietary recall questionnaire. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar and hip.


A total of 1,196 postmenopausal women aged 50 years and older were stratified into tertiles by daily dietary vitamin C intake. After adjusting for traditional confounders, dietary vitamin C intake tertile was significantly positively associated with BMD at all sites (R = 0.513 for lumbar spine (LS) and R = 0.657 for femoral neck (FN), P < 0.05 for each). The subjects with osteoporosis had significantly lower dietary vitamin C intake than did subjects without osteoporosis (74.4 ± 66.2 vs 94.1 ± 78.6 mg/day for LS and 65.5 ± 56.6 vs 94.3 ± 79.2 mg/day for FN, respectively, P < 0.001). The multiple-adjusted odds ratio for osteoporosis for dietary vitamin C <100 mg/day was 1.790 (95 % CI 1.333–2.405, P < 0.001). However, the significant association between vitamin C intake and BMD was only observed in subjects with vitamin D deficiency and aged 50–59 years or >70 years.


Dietary vitamin C intake was positively associated with BMD in postmenopausal women, and inadequate vitamin C intake could increase the risk of osteoporosis.


Bone density Menopause Osteoporosis Vitamin C Vitamin D 



This study was supported by a research grant (02-2008-036) and (02-2013-051) from Seoul National University Bundang Hospital.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. A. Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  • K. M. Kim
    • 2
    • 4
  • S. Lim
    • 2
    • 4
  • S. H. Choi
    • 2
    • 4
  • J. H. Moon
    • 2
    • 4
  • J. H. Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  • S. W. Kim
    • 3
    • 4
  • H. C. Jang
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • C. S. Shin
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University Boramae HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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