Vitamin D supplements are a waste when it comes to bone health, study finds

BOSTON— Vitamin D can provide a number of health benefits, but strengthening your bones isn’t one of them. According to a new study, taking vitamin D supplements does nothing to prevent bone fractures in most healthy individuals.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted an ancillary study as part of the VITAMIN D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL), a clinical trial involving more than 25,000 adults. Their review looked at 1,991 fracture incidents among 1,551 people over a five-year period.

Compared to participants taking a placebo, those taking vitamin D3 supplements failed to reduce their risk of various bone fractures. These injuries include hip fractures, major osteoporotic fractures, wrist fractures, and pelvic fractures.

Differences in a patient’s age, gender, race, body mass index, baseline vitamin D blood levels, and consumption of calcium or vitamin D supplements did not alter the results for for better or for worse.

Those with weak bones still need vitamin D

“Overall, the results of this large clinical trial do not support the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce fractures in generally healthy American men and women,” says lead author Meryl LeBoff, MD. , chief of the calcium and bones section of the endocrine division. at the Brigham, in a press release.

“These results do not apply to adults with vitamin D deficiency or low bone mass or osteoporosis. Most trial participants were not deficient and may have already achieved the level of vitamin D needed for healthy bones Our ongoing studies focus on whether free vitamin D levels or genetic variation in vitamin D absorption, metabolism, or receptor function D will provide information on who may benefit from a vitamin D supplement on musculoskeletal health.

Previous studies have suggested that vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Scientists say the nutrient – which is abundant in sunlight and certain foods like fish – helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. Both of these minerals are essential for building strong bones.

The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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