Background: The increasing prevalence of low bone mass in young women in Japan has emerged as a serious health issue in recent years. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to reevaluate the relationship between genetic and dietary factors, as well as its influence on bone mass in young Japanese women, with particular emphasis on vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms and calcium intake.
Methods: A total of 499 Japanese women aged 20–24 years were enrolled in the study. The bone mass of the calcaneus was assessed using the quantitative ultrasound method and expressed as the osteo sono-assessment index (OSI). VDR gene polymorphisms (BsmI, TaqI, ApaI, and FokI) were analyzed using DNA extracted from saliva. Calcium intake was assessed using the Food Frequency Questionnaire based on food groups (FFQg) and adjusted with respect to the energy intake. Participants were divided into two groups based on the median calcium intake (250 mg/1,000 kcal).
Results: Consequently, bone mass was significantly different among the BsmI genotypes and Taq I genotypes after adjusting the body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.030 and 0.019, respectively). In addition, the BsmI AA and Apa I GT genotypes showed significant differences in bone mass between the calcium-intake groups, low OSI in the low-calcium intake group and high OSI in the high-calcium intake group, respectively, even after adjusting for covariates (p = 0.020 and 0.038, respectively).
Conclusions: These findings would prove instrumental in developing a logical approach towards preventing bone loss in young Japanese women.