Vitamin D Supplementation– All Hype? Little Evidence of Efficacy

The prestigious Institute of Medicine released a report November 30th indicating that the hype over Vitamin D supplementation is just that, hype:

The committee provided an exhaustive review of studies on potential health outcomes and found that the evidence supported a role for these nutrients in bone health but not in other health conditions. Overall, the committee concludes that the majority of Americans and Canadians are receiving adequate amounts of both calcium and vitamin D. Further, there is emerging evidence that too much of these nutrients may be harmful.

Regarding the efficacy of Vitamin D on health problems the study concluded:

It reviewed a range of health outcomes, including but not limited to cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, falls, immune response, neuropsychological functioning, physical performance, preeclampsia, and reproductive outcomes. This thorough review found that information about the health benefits beyond bone health—benefits often reported in the media—were from studies that provided often mixed and inconclusive results and could not be considered reliable.

Medicynical Note: I recently went to our local health food Coop and was amazed, (as I always am) at the two to three aisles of vitamins , food supplements and such ironically being marketed to people who are deeply interested in maintaining their precious bodily fluids (see General. Jack D. Ripper).

The notion that there be some proof of efficacy of these supplements before taking megadoses seems foreign to our culture and perhaps has to do with our belief in miracles, religiousity, aggressive marketing and doing what we are told to do.

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