Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention Is Uncertain

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Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention Is Uncertain
Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention Is Uncertain

(HealthDay News) — Supplementation with vitamin D to prevent disease does not appear to improve health outcomes, according to research published online January 24 in The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Mark J. Bolland, PhD, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues performed a trial sequential meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials of vitamin D supplements, with or without calcium, to investigate the effect of vitamin D on prevention of disease.

The researchers found that vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, did not reduce, by 15% or more, the relative risk of cancer, myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, or total fracture. In institutionalized individuals, vitamin D supplementation with calcium reduced hip fractures. In community-dwelling individuals, vitamin D supplementation, alone or with calcium, did not reduce the relative risk of hip fracture by 15% or more. The effect of vitamin D, with or without calcium, on reducing mortality (38 trials, 81,173 patients) is uncertain.

"Until more information is available, it would be prudent to choose a cautious approach to vitamin D supplementation and to put more emphasis on the development of evidence-based cutoff points for vitamin D inadequacy," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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