Vitamin D supplements may not boost bone strength, study suggests
A study published in The Lancet finds that vitamin D supplements don't do much to strengthen bones in healthy adults. (gotvideo / Shuttertstock.com)
Published Saturday, October 12, 2013 9:33AM EDT
(Relaxnews) - If you regularly pop vitamin D pills to strengthen bones, a new large-scale study suggests spending your money elsewhere.
Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand reviewed 23 studies involving 4,082 healthy adults with an average age of 59. Findings showed that those who took vitamin D supplements for about two years didn't have greater bone density or lower risk of osteoporosis than those who didn't take them. The studies took place in several countries around the globe, including the UK, US, Norway, Finland, and Australia. Findings were published October 11 in the journal The Lancet.
"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 healthcare," Dr. Ian Reid, lead study author, said in a statement.
Research earlier this year by the US Preventive Services Task Force found that adding 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium to a healthy diet does not lower risk of fractures in post-menopausal women.
Unless you are advised by your doctor to supplement with vitamin D, experts say that most of us get plenty from sunlight on our skin or from a healthy diet, including oily fish like salmon and sardines and fortified dairy products and breakfast cereals.