Monday, 10 December, 2018

Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Make Our Bones Healthier

Vitamin D supplements don’t improve bone health major study finds	 	 	 			Getty Images Vitamin D supplements don’t improve bone health major study finds Getty Images
Melissa Porter | 08 October, 2018, 05:10

The authors of the report said: "Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent fractures or falls, or have clinically meaningful effects on bone mineral density".

At present, the Department of Health in the United Kingdom urges people to take vitamin D supplements regularly, especially during the winter months between October and March when UV exposure is low.

"The health benefits of vitamin D supplementation tend to be most marked in people who have the lowest vitamin D levels to start with", one medical professor says.

Lead author Dr Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland said: "Since the last major review of evidence in 2014, more than 30 randomised controlled trials on vitamin D and bone health have been published, almost doubling the evidence base available".

The review entitled, Effects of Vitamin D supplementation on musculoskeletal health: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and trial sequential analysis, was published yesterday in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal. Therefore, there is little justification for the use of vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health, and clinical guidelines should reflect these findings'.

However, Vitamin D supplements can prevent some disorders including rickets which is a childhood bone disease. Also, others say, some of the trials that were analyzed had too few participants, too low of dosages of vitamin D, and short treatment periods.

Over the last four years, over 30 new randomized controlled trials have been carried out and have been published. There was reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce total fractures, hip fractures, or falls by 15%-a clinically meaningful threshold.

Moreover, new research covered studies that included women aged 65 and older who took vitamin D supplements on daily basis.

Getting outside on even a cloudy day can boost your vitamin D levels and some foods also contain a small amount, including eggs, salmon and mackerel. The authors should be complimented on an important updated analysis on musculoskeletal health, but already I can hear the fervent supporters-what about the extra-skeletal benefits of vitamin D? "I look forward to those studies giving us the last word on vitamin D".

The pros and cons of vitamin D supplements have always been debated, with some worrying about the consequences if people with deficiencies stopped taking them.

The study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.