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Effect of B Vitamin (Folate, B6, and B12) Supplementation on Osteoporotic Fracture and Bone Turnover Markers: A Meta-Analysis

Jianwei Ruan, Xiaokang Gong, Jinsong Kong, Haibao Wang, Xin Zheng, Tao Chen

Department of Orthopedics, Taizhou Municpal Hospital, Taizhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:875-881

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893310

Available online:

Published: 2015-03-24

BACKGROUND: B vitamins (including folate, B6, and B12) supplementation can effectively and easily modify high plasma homocysteine (Hcy). However, the role of Hcy in the pathogenesis of osteoporotic fracture and bone turnover is still controversial. This meta-analysis aimed to assess the impact of B vitamin supplementation on occurrence of any osteoporotic fracture and bone turnover by pooling the results of previous studies.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were searched in databases. Data integration and analysis were done by using Review Manager 5.3 (the Cochrane Collaboration). The risk ratio (RR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) of fracture (intervention vs. control) were estimated. Changes in bone turnover indicators (continuous data), weighted mean difference (WMD), and corresponding 95% (CI) were pooled for estimation.
RESULTS: Based on the results of 4 RCTs, this meta-analysis failed to identify a risk-reducing effect of daily supplementation of B vitamins on osteoporotic fracture in patients with vascular disease and with relatively normal plasma Hcy. In addition, we also did not find any positive effects of B vitamin supplementation on bone turnover.
CONCLUSIONS: B vitamin supplementation might not be effective in preventing fracture and improving bone turnover. However, the possible benefits in selective populations, such as populations with very high plasma Hcy and from regions without B vitamin fortification should be explored in the future.

Keywords: Bone Remodeling, Biomarkers - metabolism, Dietary Supplements, Folic Acid - therapeutic use, Fractures, Bone - physiopathology, Osteoporotic Fractures - physiopathology, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Risk Factors, Vitamin B 12 - therapeutic use, Vitamin B 6 - therapeutic use