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Not enough evidence to support Vitamin D

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016

There is not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements, according to an article in a leading British medical journal.

Public Health England (PHE) said earlier this year, that vitamin D was vital for bone and muscle health but warned that people were generally not getting enough from sunlight during the winter months

The report said everyone should ensure they were getting 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, and should consider a supplement during the autumn and winter.

But a new article published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) concludes that current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease.

Three experts from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Auckland, New Zealand, argued that people at risk of vitamin D deficiency should be advised about sunlight exposure and diet and offered low dose supplements.

But those who are not at risk should eat a healthy and balanced diet with food containing vitamin D and get regular short bursts of sunshine.

Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for most people and it can be found in a small number of food including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks and in fortified food like breakfast cereals and fat spreads.

Not having enough vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia in adults which results in bone pain and tenderness.

The authors of The BMJ piece said that analysis of randomised controlled trials show that vitamin D supplementation alone does not improve musculoskeletal outcomes, such as bone fractures.

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