Study finds that supplemental vitamin D will not reduce fractures in healthy older adults

Take 2,000 international units (IU) per day of supplemental vitamin D3 without calcium throughout the cycle More than five years did not reduce hip, wrist, or pelvic fractures when compared to taking a placebo daily, according to the study. Published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A placebo is a dummy pill that is given to patients so that they believe they are receiving the real treatment.

“This is the largest and longest running randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in the United States – 25,871 men and women from all 50 states were enrolled, including 20% The participants were black,” said study author Dr. Meryl LeBeouf, chief of calcium and bone in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“Overall, the results of this large clinical trial do not support the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce fractures in generally healthy American men and women,” said LeBeouf, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“The validity of the study is excellent. It is in line with previous data showing that populations not selected for vitamin D deficiency do not benefit from vitamin D supplementation,” said Dr. Ann Rintomes Capola, M.D., clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes. Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

“The data from randomized clinical trials is the highest level of data, and those trials have repeatedly failed to show the benefit of any vitamin when given to an unselected group of the study,” said Capola, who was not involved in the study.

It does not apply to everyone

However, the study results won’t apply to people who are severely deficient in vitamin D, LeBeouf said. It also does not apply to anyone with low bone mass, which is less than optimal bone mineral density, or osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that causes bones to become so fragile that a fall or even mild stress may cause a fracture.

A higher dose of vitamin D is not necessary if you are a healthy, middle-aged or older adult who does not have bone disease or a vitamin D deficiency.

“This is a major public health problem in the United States,” LeBeouf said. “One in two women aged 50 or older will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their remaining life.” “It’s really important that patients with osteoporosis be evaluated for the many underlying factors that contribute to osteoporosis to see if there are any reversible causes.”

LeBeouf said the study findings also do not apply to older adults in nursing homes, due to the unique factors that apply to their living environments.

“They shouldn’t “Go out and expose their skin to the sun, which is a major source of revitalizing vitamin D,” she said. “They may not have good nutrition, they may have other medical conditions or digestive issues, so they should talk to their doctor. About patient care.”

The need for vitamin D

The body needs vitamin D. The main function of the vitamin is to help the body absorb calcium from the intestines – in fact, the body cannot absorb calcium unless vitamin D is present. The vitamin also plays a role in immune health, brain cell activity, and how muscles work.

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In the United States, 15 micrograms or 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily is recommended for adults up to age 70. year, according to National Institutes of Health.
For adults greater than 70, the dose goes up to 20 mcg or 800 IU per day. American Academy of Pediatrics Recently doubled the recommended amount for infants, children and teens Up to 10 mcg or 400 IU per day.

Unlike water-soluble vitamins, which the body can easily eliminate, vitamin D and its cousins ​​A, E and K accumulate In the liver cells and fat in the body until needed. Eating a large amount of the recommended daily dose can increase the levels of toxins.

a 2017 study It found that 3% of Americans took more than the tolerable upper limit of 4,000 IU per day for adults, putting themselves at risk of overdose. About 18% took more than 1,000 IU daily.
Right after the first year, a British man began experiencing nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and frequent bouts of vomiting, along with cramps in the legs and ringing in the ears after a month of taking massive amounts of vitamin D three times. day. His doctor said his vitamin D levels had been high for several months.

Experts caution that if vitamin D supplementation is being considered, daily levels of vitamin D obtained from food should be considered in the decision. In addition to fortified foods, eggs, cheese, shiitake mushrooms, salmon, swordfish, tuna, rainbow trout, and beef liver contain vitamin D, as does cod liver oil.

Experts say anyone concerned about their vitamin D levels should have it evaluated by a doctor.