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

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news