Osteoporosis Not Prevented by Vitamin D Supplements

Posted by Admin on December 13, 2013
Vitamin D supplements do not improve bone mineral density, according to a study that included over 4,000 healthy adults. Published in The Lancet, the study concluded that, with almost half of adults over the age of 50 using vitamin D supplements, continuing widespread use of these supplements in healthy adults is needless.

Professor Ian Reid from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and his fellow researchers conducted a meta-analysis of all randomized trials examining the effects of vitamin D supplementation on bone mineral density among health adults through July 2012. He claims their discovery suggests that most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, osteoporosis impacts 10 million individuals in the US, with an additional 18 million facing risk of the disease. Bone mineral density is an indicator of bone strength and measures the amount of bone mineral present at different regions of the bone.

This bone mineral measurement was taken at one of five locations – the lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, total body or forearm. Examination of data from 23 studies that included over 4,000 healthy adults did not find much effect for individuals who took vitamin D for an average span of 2 years. They only found a small but statistically significant increase in bone mineral density (.8%) at the femoral neck.

The study authors concluded that their review provides very little evidence suggesting an overall benefit when using vitamin D supplementation to boost bone density. They believe it is inappropriate to continue widespread use of vitamin D for preventing osteoporosis for healthy adults without any specific risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

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