Vitamin D in adults
Vitamin D supplementation does not prevent fractures or falls, or improve bone mineral density in adults, according to a new meta-analysis of 81 randomised trials published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal. Furthermore, the study found no differences in the effects of higher versus lower doses of vitamin D. The authors conclude that there is therefore little justification to use vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health, except for the prevention of rare conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia in high risk groups, which can occur due to vitamin D deficiency after a prolonged lack of exposure to sunshine. Vitamin D supplements have long been recommended for older people to treat or prevent osteoporosis, with some early evidence suggesting benefits for bone health. However, recent large-scale reviews have reported no effect of vitamin D supplementation on bone mineral density, falls or fractures. “On the strength of existing evidence, we believe there is little justification for more trials of vitamin D supplements looking at musculoskeletal outcomes,” says a note from the journal.