Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Medical | By

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

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

The authors of the report said: "Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent fractures or falls, or have clinically meaningful effects on bone mineral density".

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.

"Since the last major review of the evidence in 2014, more than 30 randomised controlled trials on vitamin D and bone health have been published, almost doubling the evidence base available".

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

But, as the researchers of the new study reported, it's much better to take Vitamin D from natural sources than relying on supplementation.

Vitamin D supplementation is now recommended for the elderly and all babies and children below the age of 5 years.


Experts believe a fifth of people in Britain have vitamin D levels that are too low.

In the study, the authors pooled data from 81 randomised controlled trials. There was reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce total fractures, hip fractures, or falls by 15%-a clinically meaningful threshold. Most included women aged over the age of 65 (77 per cent of trials) who lived in the community and who received daily doses of more than 800 IU per day (68 per cent of 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. Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.

The suggested extra-skeletal health benefits include cancer and heart disease, which previous research has shown to be inconclusive.

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 conclusion follows one of the largest reviews ever of vitamin D.

According to Bolland and his team, it is time that we stop advocating vitamin D supplementation for osteoporosis; a bone condition where the bones become weak and brittle and tend to fracture easily.

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