Vitamin D supplements don't improve bone health, major study finds

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

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

"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.

Even when lower thresholds were assessed, there was still reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce falls by 7.5 per cent and total fractures by 5 per cent.

The evidence is now so clear that there is little point investigating further and doctors should stop telling millions of people to take supplements, the scientists say.

"We know from meta-analyses that have managed to obtain individual participant data that the health benefits of vitamin D supplementation tend to be most marked in people who have the lowest vitamin D levels to start with", said Adrian Martineau, clinical professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London. Vitamin D supplements have always been shown to keep bones healthy and help stop colds and flu in older adults.

This is because the research found that vitamin D supplementation does not reduce falls or fracture risk, and also does not improve bone mineral density.

Moreover, new research covered studies that included women aged 65 and older who took vitamin D supplements on daily basis. Clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect these findings, as per the researchers.

It seems that this was the largest meta-analysis study that has ever been performed with data coming from 81 randomized controlled trials.

The vitamin has always been associated with a decreased risk of a number of conditions, such as osteoporosis and hypertension, in addition to keeping bones strong by helping the body absorb calcium - which is why many use it during the dark winter months.

People with little or no sun exposure are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency.

They said in the paper: 'In summary, vitamin D supplementation did not have meaningful effects on fracture, falls, or bone mineral density, and future trials are unlikely to alter these conclusions.

In secondary analyses looking at bone density, there were small differences for lumbar spine, femoral neck, and for total body, but none of these were clinically relevant.

The findings add to previous research suggesting that vitamin D supplements do not prevent disease for the majority. "I look forward to those studies giving us the last word on vitamin D".

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