Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Vitamin D Has No Impact on Bone Health

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 (https://goo.gl/R5yQy1). The study also found no differences in the effects of high or low doses of vitamin D.

The study concluded that there is 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.

“Since the last major review of evidence in 2014, more than 30 randomised controlled trials on vitamin D and bone health have been published, nearly doubling the evidence base available,” says lead author Dr Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland. “Our meta-analysis finds that vitamin D does not prevent fractures, falls or improve bone mineral density, whether at high or low dose. Clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect these findings.

“On the strength of existing evidence, we believe there is little justification for more trials of vitamin D supplements looking at musculoskeletal outcomes.”