HRR: This is a recent press release, and another interpretational meta-analysis. It is so over the top not even close to factual. The Lancet risks becoming totally ineffectual as a medical journal. Please refer to the first rebuttal to the lancet back in December : The Counter to the Lancet Claims Vitamin D has little Efficay – Well the Lancet is mistaken ( Here, try some Science) This is the Lancets second go at Vitamin D, and its last scrap of credibility.
- Review finds vitamin D supplementation does not prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or bone fractures by more than 15%
- Supplements market in Britain worth £700million a year
- Most popular pills are multi-vitamins and fish oils containing vitamin D
- Scientists in New Zealand say taking supplement has little effect on health
PUBLISHED: 19:11 EST, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 19:11 EST, 23 January 2014
Scientists claim there is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to stave off chronic disease and early death
Scientists claim there is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to stave off chronic disease and early death – and results of several multi-million dollar trials currently under way are unlikely to alter this view.
A new review examines existing evidence from 40 randomised controlled trials – the gold standard for proving cause and effect – and concludes that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or bone fractures in the general population by more than 15 per cent.
In fact, vitamin D supplements probably provide little, if any, health benefit, according to the study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
In Britain, the supplements market is worth £700 million a year – a growth of 16 per cent in five years – and the most popular pills are multi-vitamins and fish oils, which contain vitamin D.
Some scientists assumed vitamin D, which is produced naturally by exposure to sunlight, could protect against disease because patients with cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer’s, or who died prematurely, often had very low levels of the nutrient.
However, evidence from some trials suggests that rather than vitamin D deficiency leading to disease, these illnesses stop the body from producing vitamin D – so sufferers have lower levels.
Last month, a review of 462 studies involving more than a million adults said a lack of vitamin D was not a trigger for many common illnesses.
In the latest study, Dr Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues used several types of review of existing studies, including a ‘futility analysis’, to predict whether future research results might sway existing evidence.
Some scientists assumed vitamin D, which is produced naturally by exposure to sunlight, could protect against disease because patients with cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer’s
The results of their study suggest the effect of vitamin D, taken with or without calcium, on heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and total fracture lies below a ‘futility threshold’.
This means there would be no point in taking supplements as it would have little effect on health outcomes.
For hip fractures, the results of some trials even suggested an increased risk with vitamin D supplementation.
Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding are advised to take one vitamin D tablet a day – which they can get on prescription – to ensure their baby’s bones are healthy
The authors’ analysis of whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce death rates by five per cent or more was inconclusive.
Professor Karl Michaëlsson, of Uppsala University in Sweden, writing in a Lancet commentary, said: ‘Without stringent indications – i.e. supplementing those without true vitamin D insufficiency – there is a legitimate fear that vitamin D supplementation might actually cause net harm.’
Two months ago the chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, called for free vitamins to be given to children after it emerged that a quarter of youngsters are short of vitamin D. Presently it is only available on prescription to under fives from low income families.
In addition, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding are advised to take one vitamin D tablet a day – which they can get on prescription – to ensure their baby’s bones are healthy.
Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Health Supplements Information Service, said three quarters of Britons have vitamin D intakes which are below the recommended level, with children and older people are at particular risk.’
She said: ‘Rickets, once thought to have largely disappeared in the UK, has returned, in particular among children of Asian and African descent who have darker skins, but the disease is also seen in Causasian children usually in areas of urban deprivation.
She said the new review did not look at vitamin D’s role in bone health, instead focusing on chronic conditions such as cancer.
She added: ‘Vitamin D supplements are not intended for treating any disease conditions, and it is disappointing this review did not address the essential role of vitamin D in bone and musculoskeletal health.
‘In the light of the findings that 75 per cent of the British population have below recommended intakes of vitamin D and that vitamin D is essential for bone health as well as a number of other physiological functions, consideration should be given to everyone taking a vitamin D supplement all year round.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2545004/Why-taking-vitamin-D-pointless-Review-finds-taking-supplement-does-little-prevent-chronic-disease-early-death.html#ixzz2rHppQDah Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook