Vitamin D and bone health are inextricably linked. If you say vitamin D, you say healthy bones. But now it appears from a recent meta-analysis that extra supplementation with vitamin D does nothing for our bone health. Should we leave the supplements now?
Vitamin D is important for a healthy and well-functioning body. A shortage of this vitamin increases the chance of health risks. Do you want to know more about this? Read this extensive article about vitamin D.
Vitamin D and bone health
Vitamin D is important for good bone growth in children and the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It ensures that calcium can be properly absorbed. And calcium plays an important role in maintaining strong bones. This reduces the chance of bone fractures, especially in later life.
For the elderly, intake of extra vitamin D is advised because this group is more difficult to come to the recommended amount. In addition, supplementation is advised to reduce the risk of bone fractures and falls. The latter is now under discussion.
81 studies were included in the meta-analysis , 30 of which were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Here, the effect of vitamin D supplementation on bone health was investigated. What turned out: vitamin D supplementation has no effect on the prevention of bone fractures and falls. Also the mineral density of the bone tissue did not improve. This applies both to studies in which a low and a high dose of vitamin D was given.
More than bone health
According to the researchers, the advice to give preventive vitamin D to seniors should be reconsidered. But vitamin D has many more functions than just strengthening the bone tissue. There are indications that vitamin D protects against cancer and depression. In addition, vitamin D can help to strengthen the immune system.
At the moment there are several large studies that have to show whether these functions are indeed supported by vitamin D supplementation. Until that time I recommend to continue to follow the current guidelines regarding vitamin D supplementation.