Fat-Soluble Vitamins Can Play Role in Managing Osteoarthritis

AUGUST 13, 2018
Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP
As researchers continue to look for factors that may influence the development of osteoarthritis (OA), a recent review published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology examined the role of fat-soluble vitamins in managing this condition. The research team looked at the 4 fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and gathered all available information about their potential impact on OA’s pathology.

Vitamin A’s role was found to be the most unclear, although researchers have proven it regulates cartilage and skeletal formation. Elevated levels of vitamin A’s metabolites in synovial fluid seem to promote OA development, indicating that vitamin A supplementation probably has no role in OA.

Vitamin D was found to be critical for skeletal development and maintenance, and it also affects bone and cartilage metabolism. Patients who have vitamin D deficiencies may be at higher risk for OA.

Vitamin E was found to enhance chondrocyte growth, possess anti-inflammatory activity, and prevent cartilage degeneration. The authors indicated that it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Vitamin K was found to influence growth plate calcification and cartilage mineralization, and deficiencies have detrimental effects on both. Supplementation may reduce bone loss and fractures.

Although noting that these findings are preliminary, the authors suggest that supplementation with fat-soluble vitamins may provide innovative approaches for OA management.