Monday, 12 November, 2018

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

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
Anna Jefferson | 08 October, 2018, 05:08

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 study did find that vitamin D supplements could be helpful in some rare cases, such as rickets and osteomalacia (a severe vitamin D deficiency that results in bone softening).

The study analysed 81 randomised controlled trials, with the majority studying vitamin D alone and not in conjunction with other supplements.

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. These can occur due to vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D supplements do nothing to improve your health and the government should stop recommending them, according to one of the biggest ever studies published on the subject.

"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.

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Egg is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. While egg white is richer in vitamin D content, it is best to eat the whole egg to stay healthy. An analysis of older studies notes that taking either high or low doses of vitamin D supplements didn't improve bone density.

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.

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.

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".

The study, published by Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, is the first major review of the topic since 2014. 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'.

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

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