Benefits of Vitamin D: How Much Evidence is Really Out There?

Ten common beliefs of vitamin D benefits are examined in the study
Ten common beliefs of vitamin D benefits are examined in the study

Many of the potential therapeutic benefits of Vitamin D are not validated by science, reported Dr. Michael Allan, in a review published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine

Vitamin D is believed to be a vital nutrient supplementation that offers benefits in various medical conditions including depression or multiple sclerosis. Dr. Allan, from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, examined the data for 10 common beliefs about vitamin D ranging from its ability to decrease falls and fractures, improve depression and mental well-being, prevent rheumatoid arthritis, treat multiple sclerosis, and decrease incidence of cancer and mortality. 

Related Articles

His review found little evidence that vitamin D supplementation had much of an effect. Just a few of the ten beliefs appeared to exhibit some scientific evidence. 

The most robust evidence was that of vitamin D exerting a minor benefit in reducing the number of falls among elderly and reducing fractures. "The one that we probably have the most evidence for is fractures. If you were to take a group of people who were at higher risk of breaking a bone--so had about a 15% chance of breaking a bone over the next 10 years--and treated all of them with a reasonable dose of vitamin D for a decade, you'd prevent a fracture in around one in 50 of them over that time."

The other benefits of vitamin D in the review remain unproven, Dr. Allan noted. Much of the existing studies around vitamin D have poor execution and report poor quality evidence. Moving forward, he added that the studies need to be of higher caliber to have clinical applicability. 

For more information visit

Loading links....