Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Improve Bone Health

The study found that vitamin D supplements did little to help fractures falls and bone density

They said their study was the largest meta-analysis ever carried out, with data from 81 randomised controlled trials.

Vitamin D supplements have always been recommended for older people to treat or prevent osteoporosis, with some early evidence suggesting benefits for bone health.

The new study found no meaningful effect of vitamin D supplementation when it came to reducing any fracture, hip fractures or falls.

Critics of the Lancet study noted that only 6% of the trials were done in populations with vitamin D deficiency, who would stand to benefit most from supplementation.

Previous research suggests that vitamin D, when taken in tandem with calcium, may help prevent certain cancers and protect against age-related declines in thinking and memory. Not everyone is convinced by the overall finding that vitamin D supplementation is worthless, CNN notes.

"Since the last major review of the evidence in 2014, more than 30 randomized controlled trials on vitamin D and bone health have been published, almost doubling the evidence base available", said Dr. Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and the study's leading author.

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Vitamin D supplements do prevent rare conditions, such as rickets in children and osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults.

The current recommendations, on the other hand, says that every kid below five years of age should take Vitamin D supplements. Most studies included women aged over 65 with serum vitamin D levels of less than 50nmol/L and taking vitamin D doses of more than 800IU per day.

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 pros and cons of vitamin D supplements have always been debated, with some worrying about the consequences if people with deficiencies stopped taking them. One of the biggest sources of the vitamin is exposure to sunlight. This conclusion belongs to a major study conducted by United Kingdom researchers and published recently in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Professor Louis Levy, PHE's head of nutrition science, said: "This study highlights the importance of maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D to reduce the risk of poor musculoskeletal health".

Whilst it is universally agreed that vitamin D is essential for good health, the scientists question whether supplementation is necessary.

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