Vitamin D Supplements Don't Build Bone

Scientists said that doctors should stop recommending the supplements after a study found no evidence of their benefits

Scientists said that doctors should stop recommending the supplements after a study found no evidence of their benefitsCHARLOTTE BALL PA

The authors of the study say that clinical guidelines that recommend vitamin D supplementation for bone health should be changed in a way in which they can reflect the best available evidence.

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.

The authors of the study are urging physicians, prescribers and the government to stop advising people to take regular vitamin D supplements.

On the other hand, the recent study admitted the potential benefits of Vitamin D supplements on bone health, among others, if taken during winter by those individuals that don't have a balanced diet. An analysis of older studies notes that taking either high or low doses of vitamin D supplements didn't improve bone density. Even when lower thresholds were assessed, there was still reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce falls by 7.5 percent and total fracture by five percent. Most included women aged over the age of 65 (77% of trials) who lived in the community and who received daily doses of more than 800 IU per day (68% of trials). Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.

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.

"On the strength of existing evidence, we believe there is little justification for more trials of vitamin D supplements looking at musculoskeletal outcomes", Bolland added. So says a new study that looked at data from 81 controlled trials that involved more than 53,000 people, CNN reports.

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.

The researchers are calling for changes in the clinical guidelines of osteoporosis management.

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.

THERE is little justification in using vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health, scientists have suggested. These can occur due to vitamin D deficiency.

Bolland suggests doctors and health officials now recommending the vitamin to older patients as a way to prevent osteoporosis or brittle bones should stop.

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