René St-Arnaud, Ph.D., director of research at Shriners Hospital for Children, in Canada, reports that a Vitamin D metabolite—24,25(OH)2D—results in faster and better bone fracture healing.

His peer reviewed study, which gave both granular detail of the effects of Vitamin D and the analysis of its biology, was published in TheJournal of Clinical Investigation.

St-Arnaud reported that to stimulate calcium absorption and assist in bone mineralization, the vitamin D molecule is a critical catalyst in stimulating the bone repair transformation. The first step to bone healing is the transformation of the Vitamin D metabolite—24,25(OH)2D.

He explains that, with the help of another molecule, 24,25(OH)2D synthesizes a waxy fat compound called lactosyl ceramide. This compound triggers the transmission of a signal to the body to increase both the size and biomechanical properties of the callus—which, of course, is the precursor structure to healthy bone that surrounds a fracture and sets the stage for healing.

Test subjects who were not able to produce either 24,25(OH)2D or lactosyl ceramide had smaller and weaker calluses. However, when they were treated with these compounds, both callus size and strength increased. Ensuring a stronger and optimal callus size promoted better fracture healing, St. Arnaud reported.

“In this research, we have identified new biology and a previously unrecognized mechanism of action for a Vitamin D molecule. It is the culmination of more than 15 years of work from my laboratory,” he reported. “The next step,” he said, “is to test these compounds in clinical trials. We hope that they will play an important role in improving fracture repair and healing time.”

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