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 Department of Health now advises everyone to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months to improve bone health if they don't get enough exposure to the sun.

Despite recommendations from governmental bodies around the world, vitamin D supplements do not benefit bone health.

They found there was no clinically meaningful effect of vitamin D supplementation on total fracture, hip fracture, or falls. Clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect these findings.

The authors said in the paper that they believed the results mean that there is "no justification" for further trials of vitamin D on musculoskeletal outcomes as there is no longer any ambiguity about its benefits. Not everyone is convinced by the overall finding that vitamin D supplementation is worthless, CNN notes.

In a related comment article, J. Chris Gallagher of the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska said "the context for this analysis lies in the fact that many patients (and doctors) have been persuaded by various studies and social media that vitamin D is a cure-all".

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Over the last four years, over 30 new randomized controlled trials have been carried out and have been published. Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.

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.

A study published just last year, led by Dr. Jia-Guo Zhao of Tianjin Hospital in northeastern China, and published last year, noted that fractures were a serious concern among adults older than 50, with 40 percent of women in that age group prone to suffering at least one "major osteoporotic fracture".

Because of the small number of trials with baseline 25OHD below 25 nmol/L (total of 831 participants), more research might be needed into the effect of vitamin D supplementation at these levels.

The analysis found that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce total fractures, hip fractures or falls by the 15% defined as a clinically meaningful threshold. 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. These can occur due to vitamin D deficiency. It was conducted by researchers from University of Auckland and University of Aberdeen.

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