Vitamin D Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

vitamin DA study released Friday by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology shows vitamin D is not all it’s cracked up to be. This comes on the heels of various studies on vitamins released in December, proving vitamins are not worth the money spent on them if consumers are generally healthy.

Healthy levels of vitamin D contribute to effective absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the bones. This is why getting sufficient calcium in the diet is imperative for good health, which vitamin D helps to promote. Vitamin D is fairly easy to obtain if one gets enough sun during the day and eats fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna) and fortified foods such as milk, cereals and orange juice. Granted, it’s easier to fulfill calcium intake requirements but enough foods are fortified with vitamin D that sufficient intake is not too difficult to fulfill on a daily basis.

The vitamin D study, led by Dr. Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, is based on results gleaned from 40 randomized controlled studies on health effects of vitamins, but hones in on specific benefits of vitamin D and its effect on heart disease or heart attack, stroke, cancer and bone health. The population studied were healthy and hospitalized patients, and the study results point to vitamin D not being all it’s cracked up to be.

What Dr. Bolland and his team learned is that vitamin D supplementation in healthy people reap nearly no benefit from the vitamin, which does not prevent chronic disease. And neither does it affect mortality in health people. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, asthma in children and cancer, but the study cannot determine cause and effect, Dr. Bolland says. Those with low levels of vitamin D tend to be older, obese and do not get enough sunlight. If these people took vitamin D to improve their health, the results would be negligible. Prior studies show that  low vitamin D levels lead to poor health and early mortality but taking the vitamin to prevent this is not proven to be of benefit, at least not more than 15 percent, which is the baseline Dr. Bolland and his team used. Simply put, it is of little benefit to take vitamin D to prevent chronic illness or disease.

Other studies on vitamin D have yielded results similar to Bolland’s, especially a study out of Lyon, France, in which vitamin D insufficiency was deemed the result of poor health, not the cause.

The upside to Bolland’s study is that institutionalized patients (those who live in nursing and care homes) do benefit from ingesting vitamin D, as it reduces bone fractures. A recent study (boosted by the support of the U.S. National Institutes of Health) of over 36,000 post-menopausal women who took vitamin D with calcium supplements saw a reduction in the risk of hip fractures. Elderly people reportedly decrease their risk of falling by taking vitamin D, and people at risk for osteoporosis will benefit from the vitamin.

Michael Holick, a professor of medicine at Boston University and advocate of vitamin D, disagrees with Bolland’s findings, saying that the studies on which Bolland based his study gave participants too low doses of vitamin D, about 200 to 400 international units (IU) per day. Holick says he believes a higher dose, such as 2,000 IU currently being administered in a major U.S. trial, would yield benefit. The vitamin D promoter also points out that Bolland neglects to explain the connection between low vitamin D levels in persons with chronic diseases (such as MS and colon cancer) and living in areas with little sun exposure.

Every year, people spend $20 billion on vitamins and $600 million on vitamin D supplements. For healthy people, this is likely a waste of money. The Bolland study, and various others, demonstrate that vitamin D is not all it’s cracked up to be.

By Juana Poareo 

Sources:

Medical News Today

USA Today

Bloomberg Businessweek

4 Responses to Vitamin D Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

  1. Juana Poareo January 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Jonathan, the study was funded by Health Research Council of New Zealand. Hardly Big Pharma.

    Reply
  2. Luke Gilmore January 24, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    These “studies” are not worth the paper they are written on. First of all no dosage information is given or which type of Vitamin D was used by the subjects. What was the vitamin d level in their blood? These statistical samples can be used to prove anything. I will continue to take my Vitamin D3 supplement and enjoy the good health I have had for 72 years.

    Reply
  3. Redmond Wood January 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    “…taking the vitamin to prevent this is not proven to be of benefit, at least not more than 15 percent, which is the baseline Dr. Bolland and his team used.”

    With that logic, why are we treating people for HIV/AIDS (0.8% in 2012)? Or try telling a parent whose child is in the top 15% for intelligence that their child can’t be treated any differently because the difference is not “statistically significant”.

    15% of the world’s population is a little over one billion people. I wouldn’t dismiss something with that kind of efficacy…

    Reply
  4. Jonathan January 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Gee . . . was the “study” in any way sponsored by big pharma? One must wonder. What quality vitamin D was used? Was it the pharmaceutical grade known as D2 which is useless or natural D3? How long was the study and who were the subjects of it? To come out in the mainstream media with this without these pertinent facts is tantamount to an attack campaign on vitamins . . once again. I don’t buy it for a second.

    Reply

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Miley Cyrus: Next Star to Rehab? April 21, 2014
    Miley Cyrus was reported to have told Dolly Parton about her drug use. Parton was concerned for Cyrus after hearing her talk so casual about the use. Is it possible Miley Cyrus will be the next star to go down the rabbit hole of addiction, ending up in rehab? After the outlandish behavior of Cyrus, […]
    Jabar Morarend
  • Innocence Lost Regained April 21, 2014
    Innocence in America in times past, seemed inevitable that the days of black and white would fade into color and reel to reel would evolve into the Blue Ray DVD. Yesteryear, movies were pretty tame in comparison to today’s films with their graphic violence and soft-core porn love scenes. Where are the days of Matt […]
    John Thomas
  • Turn on AMC: Of Cabbages and Kings (Recap/Review) April 21, 2014
    On Turn on AMC tonight, the episode is called Of Cabbages and Kings. The title is likely taken from the Lewis Carroll poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” It’s an apropos title, as Abe Woodhull is a cabbage farmer, and the show depicts Americans revolting against the rule of King George III of England, and […]
    Douglas Cobb
  • ‘Hearthstone’ Hits the iPad After Successful Beta April 21, 2014
    Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard’s crack at a collectible card game, has received rave reviews since its inception. The game was designed with the mobile platform in mind, and after months of open beta on the PC, Blizzard released the game on the iPad on Wednesday. In less than a week, Hearthstone has already become […]
    Jonathan Gardner
  • Ukraine Crisis Has Rapture Watchers Nervous [Video] April 21, 2014
    The Ukraine Crisis is continuing to draw various interests and concerns from across the world to a head. Notably, the recent events in Eastern Europe has made some rapture watchers nervous. With controversial figures and internet videos touting the recent events as prophecy, the crisis now has a heavy religious following. Figures such as John […]
    Brett Byers-Lane

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 630 other subscribers

Quantcast