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?

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Yvonne Wey
Yvonne Wey3 years ago

I have to take Vitiamin D3 every day during the auturm till spring time,To litle of Vitiamin D is also not healthy

Judy Apelis
Judy A3 years ago

Noted, thank you!

Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles3 years ago

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.

Franck Rio
Past Member 3 years ago


Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder3 years ago


Dave C.
David C4 years ago

......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....

Kristina May
Kristina May4 years ago

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.

Manuela C.
Manuela C4 years ago

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

Kira Leeon
Kira Leeon4 years ago

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.

vicky T.
vicky T4 years ago

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...