Women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer a hip fracture, according to a new study.
A seven-year study of 400 women determined that those whose vitamin D levels were lowest had a 77 per cent higher chance of experiencing a hip fracture.
Lead researcher Dr Jane Cauley, who specialises in postmenopausal women, commented: "The risk of hip fractures was 77 percent higher among women whose 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels were at the lowest concentrations."
She added: "This effect persisted even when we adjusted for other risk factors such as body mass index, family history of hip fracture, smoking, alcohol use and calcium and vitamin D intake."
Though there is no exact figure for the daily requirement of vitamin D, most experts think that people need at least 800 to 1,000 international units a day.
Sun exposure induces production of vitamin D, which is not available naturally in many foods other than fish liver oils.