Vitamin D Supplements

The July 28th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine included results from a large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation to lower the risk of fractures in middle-aged and older adults who were not selected based on gender, vitamin D deficiency, low bone mass, or osteoporosis. Supplementation with vitamin D3 2000IU/day did not reduce the risk of fractures over a median follow-up of 5.3 years (MS LeBoff et al. N Engl J Med 2022; 387:299).  The article was accompanied by an editorial reminding readers that the results of previous studies had shown that vitamin D supplementation did not prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, or a host of other conditions and urging providers not to screen patients for vitamin D deficiency and not to recommend use of vitamin D supplements (SR Cummings and C Rosen. N Engl J Med 2022; 387:368).

A 10-year-old page from The Medical Letter reproduced below with 2 updated tables reported a similar recommendation on this subject from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The tables offer some dietary alternatives for patients who are reluctant to stop taking vitamin D.

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  1. Philip Miller says:

    Another example of junk science. How do they choose these starting doses? Were serial samples measured? Do you trust self reporting? Vitamin D 2000 units will rarely move the meter. And good research into the subject reveals Vitamin D must be paired with adequate doses of Vitamin K2.

    Most quality labs will quote Vitamin D levels in segments. 15 ng/ml is deficient. 100 ng/ml is excess. A level of 30-40 is barely sufficient.

    Good qualified reviewers of the literature will often repeat that 80% of medical studies are worthless. This is a good example.

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