Taking supplements of Vitamin D, popularly known as the sunshine vitamin, may not reduce risk of fractures in adults, claims a study. Although Vitamin D supplements are widely prescribed and used to benefit bone health, definitive data on whether these supplements reduce fractures in the general population have been inconsistent. The demand for Vitamin D supplements also increased particularly during the pandemic, with many studies claiming them to play a definitive role in Covid severity.
The new study, published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, advances scientific understanding on this subject. It showed that compared to placebo, supplemental vitamin D3 (2000 IU/day) did not reduce total, non-vertebral, or hip fractures.
The analyses also showed that there were no effects of supplemental Vitamin D3 on major osteoporotic fractures, wrist fractures, or pelvic fractures.
“Overall, the results from this large clinical trial do not support the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce fractures in generally healthy US men and women,” said lead author Meryl LeBoff, Chief of the Calcium and Bone Section in the Endocrine Division at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US.
However, “these findings do not apply to adults with vitamin D deficiency or low bone mass or osteoporosis”, LeBoff said.
Most participants in the trial were not deficient and may have already reached the vitamin D level needed for bone health.
“Our ongoing studies are focusing on whether free vitamin D levels or genetic variation in vitamin D absorption, metabolism, or receptor function will provide information about individuals who may benefit from supplemental vitamin D on musculoskeletal health,” LeBoff said.
For the study, researchers conducted a clinical trial of more than 25,000 adults.
A total of 1,991 incident fractures in 1,551 participants were confirmed over a median follow-up of 5.3 years.