New research funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand shows that the vitamin D supplementation might not be as helpful in preventing disease as previously believed.
Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed a total of 40 randomized controlled trials completed in the past to study the effect of vitamin D on preventing heart attack, stroke, cancer or bone fractures in the general population. They found that vitamin D supplements, which are taken by nearly half of U.S. adults, provide little, if any, health benefit. Specifically, the supplements failed to meet the threshold set by the researchers of reducing the risk of any of these diseases by more than 15 percent.
The results showed that the effect of vitamin D -- whether taken with or without calcium -- on heart attack, stroke, cancer and bone fractures may fall below a “futility threshold,” indicating that it could be useless to take vitamin D supplements unless you have a true vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, the findings suggest that low levels of vitamin D might even be a consequence rather than a cause of poor health.