Vitamin D supplements: New study casts doubts on benefits of the pills for bone health

Dr Oscar Duke issues warning over ‘fizzy’ vitamins

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Vitamin D is required for several essential purposes; this includes:
• Regulating levels of calcium and phosphate in the body
• Maintaining tooth health
• Keeping muscles healthy
• Maintaining bone strength.

While all true of vitamin D in its natural state, there are questions over whether supplements can perform the same role.

Scientists have cast doubt on the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in a new study looking into the efficacity, specifically over the benefits for bone health.

The study has found vitamin D supplements may not prevent fractures in healthy adults.

Researchers said in their report that the supplements “did not result in a significantly lower risk of fractures among healthy midlife and older adults”.

Commenting on the study, Dr Natalie Azar said: “This was a study done in people who weren’t selected for vitamin D deficiency, so it’s not unusual that you wouldn’t find an effect of vitamin D supplements.”

How much vitamin D is healthy?

The NHS recommends a maximum of 4,000IU (100 micrograms) of vitamin D per day.

Where can vitamin D be found?

Vitamin D can be found in several foods including:
• Oily fish
• Red meat
• Liver
• Egg yolks
• Fortified foods.

Is it possible to overdose on vitamin D?

Yes, it is. Too much vitamin D can cause too much calcium to build up in the body, this is a condition known as has hypercalcaemia, a condition which can weaken the heart.

Taking too much vitamin D can cause kidney damage and bones to become weaker.

Furthermore, how much vitamin D someone can have will vary from person to person.

Is it possible to overdose on vitamin D through sunlight?

The NHS say: “You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.”

As with other vitamins, it is a case of acting in moderation.

While supplements are useful, it is far healthier to obtain vitamins through a balanced diet supplemented by exercise.

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