Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Using vitamin D supplements ‘does not prevent fractures or falls’

Using vitamin D supplements ‘does not prevent fractures or falls’

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". "Our results show that there is little reason for adults to take vitamin D supplements for their bones to protect against fractures, except people from high risk groups, such as those who have a prolonged lack of exposure to sunshine".

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.

He said advice given by medical experts and the government on vitamin D supplements should be adjusted to reflect the recent 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.

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

But the latest study argues that Vitamin D pills make no difference to the strength of bones.

In the study, the authors pooled data from 81 randomised controlled trials.

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Between April and the end of September, we can get all the vitamin D that our organisms needs by just going out in the sunlight and having a balanced diet that includes eggs, oily fish, and red meat. The clinically meaningful threshold for falls is 15 per cent, although the study found vitamin D also couldn't reduce falls by 7.5 per cent or total fractures by 5 per cent. 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).

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

Bolland explained that this has doubled the volume of information available on vitamin D and bone health. The authors should be complimented on an important updated analysis on musculoskeletal health, but already I can hear the fervent supporters-what about the extra-skeletal benefits of vitamin D?

The majority of the trials that were analysed looked at vitamin D alone (not prescribed in conjunction with calcium supplements) and were of one year or less. These can occur due to vitamin D deficiency.

The research was funded by Health Research Council of New Zealand.

[2] A metabolite of vitamin D measured to determine an individual's vitamin D status.

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