Daily vitamin D pill 'makes no difference to strength of bones'

Alicia Farmer
October 6, 2018

Most studies included women aged over 65 with serum vitamin D levels of less than 50nmol/L and taking vitamin D doses of more than 800IU per day.

The American Bone Health organization recommended that people supplement with calcium and vitamin D according to their age.

Vitamin D supplements aren't what they are cracked up to be when it comes to improving bone health and preventing breaks.

The analysis found that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce total fractures, hip fractures or falls by 15% - a clinically meaningful threshold. Healthcare providers have long recommended people take vitamin D supplements for a variety of reasons, such as improving bone density in older people and ensuring sufficient vitamin D intake during fall and winter months.

But the research also concludes the supplement is helpful in preventing rare conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia in high risk groups, which can occur after a prolonged lack of exposure to sunshine, resulting in deficiency.

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There is "little justification" for prescribing vitamin D to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health and clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect this, a study has suggested.

Apart from being loaded with vitamin C, oranges are loaded with calcium and are known to up your bone health. Other scientists said, however, that there was likely to be a benefit for people low in vitamin D and that it was still worth telling them to take supplements.

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".

Public Health England (PHE) said around a fifth of the United Kingdom population has blood levels of vitamin D indicating risk of poor musculoskeletal health and thus the UK's precautionary advice remains appropriate. Since then, more than 30 new trials have analysed the effect of vitamin D on bone health, doubling the available evidence.

"During autumn and winter, those not consuming foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D should consider a 10mg supplement".

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