Many doctors recommend taking a vitamin D supplement because many people have deficient levels of it, but a new study is casting doubt that the supplement actually has any bone benefits.
Researchers conducted an analysis of 81 studies enrolling more than 53,000 older adults that involved vitamin D supplements to determine how effective they are at boosting bone mineral density and preventing falls and fractures. They concluded vitamin D supplements aren’t effective at all in these areas, as they reported in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Results also showed that the dosage of the supplement didn’t make a difference.
“There is little justification to use vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health,” the researchers say.
This newest meta-analysis echoes results from another one published in December 2017 that examined vitamin D and calcium supplements and bone fractures in the elderly. That study involved 33 trials and more than 51,000 participants.
However, there are indications that having higher levels of vitamin D may have other health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, helping those with breast cancer live longer and lowering the overall risk of death.