News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Vitamin D supplements not needed by healthy adults

Vitamin D supplements not needed by healthy adults

The widespread use of vitamin D supplements to prevent osteoporosis in healthy adults is not necessary, according to a study by one of New Zealand’s leading medical scientists.
 
The study, led by Professor Ian Reid from the University of Auckland’s Bone Research Group, found that taking vitamin D supplements does not improve bone mineral density in adults with a normal Vitamin D level. 
 
Professor Reid and his colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-data analysis of the effects of vitamin D supplements on bone mineral density.  The data from more than 4000 healthy adults in 23 randomised trials was analysed and the results published this week in leading medical journal, The Lancet.
 
The study found that taking vitamin D supplements did not improve bone mineral density at the hip, spine, forearm, or in the body as a whole.
 
“Most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements” says Professor Reid. “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.”
 
“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,” says Professor Reid in the Lancet article.
 
Analysis of the data from the 23 studies did not identify any effects for people who took vitamin D for an average period of two years, apart from a small but statistically significant increase in bone density (0.8%) at the femoral neck. According to the authors, such a localised effect is unlikely to be clinically significant.
 
“In North America and Europe particularly, more than half the adult population have their vitamin D level assessed and take vitamin D supplements,” says Professor Reid.  “Some advocates have suggested that the indicator level for needing vitamin D supplements has been quite high.”
 
“We believe that vitamin D supplements are only indicated for people with very low levels, (such as those who are frail, are confined rest-home residents, or women who are veiled, and some dark skinned people),” he says.  “This review study suggests that the high use of vitamin D supplements by most healthy adults is a waste of money and resources.”
 
Others at risk of vitamin D deficiencies, such as children without access to a conventional diet, especially dark-skinned children, may need vitamin D supplements to avoid conditions such as rickets that affects the growing skeleton causing bowed legs and knock knees.
 
“Most healthy adults, especially in New Zealand, who live a normal, active life and get out regularly for activities such as walking, shopping and gardening, get vitamin D from the sun, and do not need vitamin D supplements”, says Professor Reid. 
 
“We do know that maintaining good blood vitamin D levels is important for promoting absorption of calcium from the diet,” he says. “Very high levels of Vitamin D may have the opposite effect, and take calcium out of the bone and weaken the skeleton.  There is a sweet spot in the middle, where not too much and not too little is a good level.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Memorabilia: Te Papa Buys Peter Snell Singlet

Te Papa has purchased the singlet worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics at an auction this morning at Cordy’s auction house in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Obituary: Last 28th Maori Battalion A Company Veteran Dies

Charlie Petera, the final surviving member of A-Company of the 28th Maori Battalion has died at his home in Ngataki, Northland last night surrounded by his whanau. He was 91 years old. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news