Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham Hospital in Boston found that taking 2,000 units of vitamin D per day did not reduce general, vertebral or hip fractures in older adults.
The analysis in the study showed no effects of vitamin D on osteoporotic fractures, wrist, or pelvis, in the studied sample, and no differences were recorded in the response to these supplements by men and women.
The results also did not indicate any differences in the effects of vitamin D on fracture outcomes according to race, body mass index, or age.
“Overall, the results of this study do not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to reduce fractures in healthy men and women,” said Dr. Meryl LeBeouf, chief of orthopedic at Brigham and lead author of the study.
“The results do not apply to patients with severe vitamin D deficiency, low bone mass, patients with osteoporosis or the elderly,” LeBeouf added.
She described the results as a bit surprising because the researchers hypothesized that vitamin D would reduce total, vertebral and hip fractures.
The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements says that most people meet some of their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight, but consume less than recommended.
The National Institutes of Health says osteoporosis is often associated with insufficient calcium intake, but vitamin D deficiency contributes to this condition by reducing calcium absorption.
The National Institutes of Health widely warn that taking too much vitamin D from foods, beverages, and supplements may be harmful to health.