Higher doses of vitamin D are not necessary to protect bones if you are a healthy middle-aged or older adult without bone disease or vitamin D deficiency, a new study finds. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to fully absorb calcium and phosphorus from food.
Taking 2000 IU (international units) per day of supplemental vitamin D3 without calcium According to the study, there was no reduction in hip, wrist or pelvic fractures over five years compared to daily placebo. published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Placebos are dummy pills given to patients so they will believe they are receiving the real treatment.
“This is the largest, longest-running randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in the United States, involving 25,871 men and women from all 50 states, including 20 percent of Black participants,” said study author Dr. Meryl LeBoff, MD, chief of the calcium and bone 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 supplementation to reduce fractures in generally healthy US men and women,” said LeBoff, also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“The validity of the studies is excellent. This is consistent with previous data showing no benefit from vitamin D supplementation in a population not selected for vitamin D deficiency,” said Dr. Anne Rentoumis Cappola, Professor of Medicine at the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University. of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
“Randomized clinical trial data is the highest level of evidence and has not repeatedly shown any benefit of any vitamin when administered to an unselected study group,” said Cappola, who was not involved in the study.
But the study’s results wouldn’t apply to people with severe vitamin D deficiency, LeBoff said. It also doesn’t work for those with less than optimal bone mineral density or osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that makes bones so fragile that falls or even minor stress can lead to fractures.
“This is a major public health problem in the United States.” “One in two women age 50 and older will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime,” LeBoff said. “It is very important that patients with osteoporosis are evaluated for the many underlying factors that contribute to osteoporosis to see if there are any reversible causes.”
LeBoff said the study’s findings also do not apply to elderly people in nursing homes because of the unique factors that apply to their living environment.
“They may not to get outside to get sunlight on your skin, which is the main source of vitamin D activation,” she said. “They may be malnourished, may have other medical conditions or gastrointestinal problems, so they should talk to their doctor about patient care.”
The body needs vitamin D. The main job of the vitamin is to help the body absorb calcium from the gut—in fact, the body cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D. The vitamin also plays an important role in immune health, brain cell activity, and muscle function.
In the United States, 15 micrograms or 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day is recommended for adults up to age 70. years, according to National Institutes of Health.
For adults older than 70, the dose increases to 20 micrograms or 800 IU each day. American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled the recommended amount for infants, children and adolescents up to 10 micrograms or 400 IU per day.
Unlike water-soluble vitamins, which can be easily eliminated by the body, vitamin D and its cousins A, E, and K accumulate. in the liver and fat cells of the body until they are needed. Taking well above the recommended daily dose can lead to toxic levels.
A 2017 study found that 3% of Americans drank more than the upper limit of 4,000 IU per day for adults, putting them at risk of overdose. About 18% consumed more than 1000 IU daily.
Immediately after the first year, a British man experienced nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and repeated bouts of vomiting, leg cramps, and tinnitus after a month of taking massive amounts of vitamin D three times a day. day. His vitamin D levels remained elevated for several months, the doctor said.
If you’re considering taking vitamin D supplements, the decision should be based on your daily intake of vitamin D from food, experts warn. In addition to fortified foods, vitamin D is found in eggs, cheese, shiitake mushrooms, salmon, swordfish, tuna, rainbow trout, and beef liver, as well as cod liver oil.
Experts say anyone concerned about their vitamin D levels should get it evaluated by a doctor.