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

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news