Vitamin D supplements do not improve bone health, major study finds

NatchaS via Getty Images

NatchaS via Getty Images

The team concluded that vitamin D does not prevent fractures or falls, or have a meaningful effect on bone mineral density, concluding that there is little justification in taking them to "maintain or improve musculoskeletal health", adding that there is no need for more trials to explore this. The conclusion follows one of the largest reviews ever of vitamin D.

"What is important to keep in mind is that those with low vitamin D were not represented in this meta-analysis, and vitamin D supplementation - repletion, actually - is still necessary for those with low vitamin D levels, regardless of age", Sood said.

While data analysing bone density did find small differences for lumbar spine, femoral neck and total body, researchers noted these changes weren't clinically relevant.

Study authors, Professor's Mark Bolland and Andrew Grey, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Prof Alison Avenell of Aberdeen University explained that last major review analyzing the benefit of Vitamin D supplementation was conducted in 2014.

Based on the new findings, Avenell thinks guidelines that recommend vitamin D supplements for bone health should be changed.

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Vitamin D supplements, long pushed as benefiting bone health, can't be justified for most people except perhaps for those at high risk of osteoporosis or brittle bone disease, according to a new meta-study published on Thursday in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.

Contrary to popular belief, taking vitamin D supplements don't help bone health.

THERE is little justification in using vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health, scientists have suggested.

Between April and the end of September, we can get all the vitamin D that our organisms needs by just going out in the sunlight and having a balanced diet that includes eggs, oily fish, and red meat. Within 3 years, we might have that answer because there are approximately 100 000 participants now enrolled in randomised, placebo-controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation. Most included women aged over the age of 65 (77% of trials) who lived in the community and who received daily doses of more than 800 IU per day (68% of trials).

There was reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce total fractures, hip fractures, or falls by 15 percent, a clinically meaningful threshold. "During autumn and winter, those not consuming foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D should consider a 10 microgram supplement".

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