Vitamin D supplements do not help improve bone mineral density in healthy adults, researchers have found.
The findings of the study are based on an analysis of a systematic review of 23 randomized trials including 4,000 healthy adults. 92 percent of the participants were white women, with an average age of 59 years.
The baseline serum concentration of vitamin D in blood ranged from 16 to 82 nmol/L. The bone mineral density at 1 to 5 body sites, including lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, trochanter, total body, or forearm were measured during the trials.
Out of the 70 statistical tests performed in the original studies, 6 tests posted strong relation between vitamin D supplements and bone mineral density, while 2 displayed significant damage.
Other studies, however, posted no significant change on bone mineral density upon taking vitamin D supplements, researchers highlighted.
“Most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements” study’s lead researcher, Professor Ian Reid from the University of Auckland’s Bone Research Group said. “Our data suggest that the targeting of low-dose vitamin D supplements only to individuals who are likely to be deficient could free up substantial resources that could be better used elsewhere in health care,” the researchers wrote in an article published online October 11 in the Lancet.
“This systematic review provides very little evidence of an overall benefit of vitamin D supplementation on bone density. Continuing widespread use of vitamin D for osteoporosis prevention in community-dwelling adults without specific risk factors for vitamin D deficiency seems inappropriate,” he added.
The researchers recommend that such supplements should be prescribed only to people who have very low levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, like those who are frail, are confined to rest-homes, women who are dark skinned and veiled.
“This review study suggests that the high use of vitamin D supplements by most healthy adults is a waste of money and resources.”