11/10/2013 14:22 BST | Updated 11/10/2013 14:27 BST

Osteoporosis Prevention: Vitamin D Supplements 'Do Not Strengthen Bones'

Vitamin D supplements have no effect on bone density and should not be used to prevent osteoporosis, research has revealed.

The study, published in The Lancet, analysed 4,000 healthy adults and found that vitamin D supplements do not improve bone strength.

“Most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements,” said study leader Professor Ian Reid.

vitamin d

“Our data suggest that the targeting of low-dose vitamin D supplements only to individuals who are likely to be deficient could free up substantial resources that could be better used elsewhere in healthcare.”

It is currently recommended that children, over-65s and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant take the supplement.

Writing in The Lancet, Clifford J Rosen from Maine Medical Research Institute said:

"Supplementation to prevent osteoporosis in healthy adults is not warranted. However, maintenance of vitamin D stores in the elderly combined with sufficient dietary calcium intake remains an effective approach for prevention of hip fractures."