START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Are Vitamin D Supplements a Waste of Money?

Are Vitamin D Supplements a Waste of Money?

It seems we may have to start getting our vitamin D the old fashioned way sun exposure and foods like fatty fish, fortified milk, and mushrooms a new report shows that supplements don’t offer significant health benefits. The report, published in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, reviewed 40 past studies on vitamin D, concluding that healthy people are unlikely to get any benefit when it comes to heart health, cancer prevention, or bone health.

So what about studies that have linked low vitamin D levels to heart disease and cancer? Lead researcher Mark Bolland explains that they don’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, telling USA Today that people with low levels of vitamin D “tend to be older, heavier, tend to exercise less and spend less time outside,” which might explain both their poor health and their low levels (due to lack of sun exposure).

In studies that gave people vitamin D supplements, Bolland says there was either no lowered risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or bone fractures, or risk was lowered by less than 15 percent. However, the review didn’t rule out the possibility that vitamin D supplements might lower the risk of premature death by five percent.

Michael Holick, a professor of medicine at Boston University and a proponent of vitamin D, dismissed the review, explaining that vitamin D doses were too low in previous studies. He says it’s possibly higher doses 2,000 IU a day might be needed to produce benefits, much higher than the 200-400 IU used in the studies, and higher than the 600-800 IU currently recommended by the institute of medicine.

Do you take vitamin D supplements, or do you rely on sun exposure and food sources to get your daily dose?

Related
3 Ways to Get Vitamin D (Even After the Sun Goes Down)
Are You Vitamin B12 Deficient? (And Does it Matter?)
Top 5 Vitamins That Protect Against Cancer

Read more: General Health, Health

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

275 comments

+ add your own
11:36AM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

I am so grateful that I take VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS instead of drugs which too often come with serious side effects. So many my age prefer drugs. Of course they are also meat eaters. I am not. I agree with the doctor who wrote that Vitamin D is necessary and should be taken in larger doses. So far I am pretty healthy and haven't seen a doctor in 7 years. I hope I don't have to either in the near future. I think my healthy vegan lifestyle plus vitamin and supplement use is the reason for my good health.

4:46AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Noted

6:08PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

noted...

5:39PM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

......I would say if you can get vitamin d naturally by exercising outside in the sun its a lot better and cheaper.......if you can't, or you live in the far north, supplements in winter might be reasonable, but not a panacea like Dr Holick and his followers believe....

9:44AM PST on Mar 6, 2014

I live in Canada where winter lasts 6 months of the year and with temps dipping below -20 a lot of that time getting outside to get your sunshine Vit. Is not feasible. Doctors recommend everyone in Canada take 1000mg. Vit. D supplement everyday. The sun here when we do get outside is just not strong enough in our Northern hemisphere to adequately deliver enough Vit.D to meet our bodies needs.

1:24PM PST on Mar 5, 2014

Never ever. Just for babies until 12 months, because they don't get much sun...
Go outside, people!

3:22PM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Before taking vitamin D and calcium please consider researching the horrendous side effects of these chemicals when taken in large doses- which include renal complications, nausea vomiting, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, agitation, anxiety, mental confusion, elevated blood pressure, copious urination, tingling around the mouth-hands-feet, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat- tachycardia and....coma to name a few. The pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in promoting their products. Many doctors are unaware of the full extent of the side effects.

10:07PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Who needs supplements when you have the sun? Supplements don't make you all warm and fuzzy :) I wish I had more time to enjoy the sunshine...

5:16PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

first off just let me say that postmenopausal women need to be taking 800 to 1000 IUs of Vitamin D along with 1200 mg daily of calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis. that said, here where I live in Michigan, our yearly average amount of sunshine is 46% needless to say, we aren't going to get a whole lot of Vitamin D from the sun. I also take medication for a medical condition that prevents me from spending long periods outdoors, and again that means I will be getting even less sun. my doctor has me on 4000 IUs of Vitamin D per day. he says I can take up to 8000, but not less than 4000. In my opinion for me, I agree with Michael Holick, the professor at Boston University. ___ bottom line ____ what our body doesn't use is excreted from our bodies

9:14AM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Sunlight, Fresh Air and a good diet are the necessary things for our bodies.Not supplements.
We are lucky in Gibraltar as we get plenty of sun in the summer and normally in the winter but not this year.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Can't they grow kale in larger quantities?

I have a teaspoon of it every morning in warm water and have known about black pepper in it for year…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.