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

 

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news