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Vitamin D Supplements Don't Help Your Health: Review

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FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There's little evidence that vitamin D supplements offer substantial health benefits, and several ongoing studies are unlikely to change that, according to a large new review.

Vitamin D supplements are taken by nearly half of American adults, according to the researchers.

The review authors analyzed the findings of 40 studies and determined that taking vitamin D supplements does not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer or bone fractures in the general population by more than 15 percent.

That result suggests that vitamin D supplements likely provide few, if any, health benefits, said Dr. Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues.

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  • The study appears in the Jan. 25 issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

    Unless used in people with vitamin D deficiency, there is legitimate concern that taking vitamin D supplements might actually cause harm, professor Karl Michaelsson, of Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote in an accompanying journal editorial.

    Previous research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor health and early death. But recent evidence suggests that low levels of vitamin D are a result, not a cause, of poor health, according to a journal news release.

    More information

    The Harvard School of Public Health has more about vitamin D and health.


    -- Robert Preidt

    SOURCE: The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, news release, Jan. 23, 2014

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