Vitamin D supplements do nothing to improve your health and the government should stop recommending them, according to one of the biggest ever studies published on the subject.
The authors compiled results of 81 separate studies to conclude there was no robust evidence to suggest taking the supplement improved a person’s health. The only exception was for sufferers of a few rare conditions that affect the health of their bones.
The Department of Health currently advises everyone to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months to improve bone health if they don’t get enough exposure to the sun.
Vitamin D is produced naturally in the body when we are exposed to sunlight, but as we cover up in the colder winter months and see less daylight, some people develop a deficiency.
The study, published by Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, is the first major review of the topic since 2014. Since then, more than 30 new trials have analysed the effect of vitamin D on bone health, doubling the available evidence.
The authors of the report said: “Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent fractures or falls, or have clinically meaningful effects on bone mineral density.”
They recommended that public health bodies stop promoting vitamin D supplements as having a meaningful impact on a person’s health.
Experts believe a fifth of people in Britain have vitamin D levels that are too low. This may mean their bones break easier and can lead to respiratory problems.
Getting outside on even a cloudy day can boost your vitamin D levels and some foods also contain a small amount, including eggs, salmon and mackerel.