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Most of us don’t need vitamin D supplements – research analysis

An analysis by University of Auckland researchers shows that unless you are at high-risk of low vitamin D levels, there’s no need to take a supplement.

Associate professor Mark Bolland says after analysing around 50 systemic reviews, “we conclude that current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease”.

Instead, Dr Bollard says we should focus on eating a healthy balanced diet with food containing vitamin D, and getting regular short bursts of sunshine.

Researchers looked at close to 200-300 clinical trials as part of the analysis and background work, which is published in the British Medical Journal.

“Most people in New Zealand have healthy vitamin D levels and don’t need to be concerned about taking vitamin D supplements,” Dr Bollard says.

“This is especially true if people are healthy and do outdoor activities. People at high risk of very low vitamin D levels include people who get little sunshine exposure or who actively avoid the sun, especially if they have darkly pigmented skin.

“Such people could consider discussing with their doctor whether a low dose vitamin D supplement taken each day might be helpful for them,” he says.

Foods containing vitamin D include oily fish, egg yolk, red meat, liver, fortified breakfast cereals and fat spreads, Dr Bollard says.

Read more about vitamin D here.


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