An important new study has found vitamin D supplementation in adults does not prevent fractures and falls or improve bone mineral density. This meta-analysis, pooling data from 81 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), found little justification to use the supplements for musculoskeletal health, except in rare cases where lack of exposure to sunlight is a factor.
Vitamin D supplements have been recommended for older people to treat or prevent osteoporosis, with early evidence suggesting benefits. However, recent large-scale reviews have not supported this. Since the last major review in 2014, more than 30 RCTs on vitamin D and bone health have been published, nearly doubling the evidence base.
Lead author Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland, says, “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.”
The Lancet, October 2018