JAN 14, 2019 3:07 PM PST

Vitamin D Proved Non-Beneficial for Individuals Aged 70 and Over

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at Newcastle University have confirmed that older individuals, over the age of 70, who take daily vitamin D supplements will not receive any benefits.

Credit: Newcastle University

"Vitamin D deficiency is common in older people, and it may lead to bone loss, impairment of muscle function and an increased risk of falls and fractures,” says Dr. Terry Aspray, who led the Vitamin D supplementation in older people study (VDOP). "While some may need to take vitamin D supplements, there is little benefit to taking more than 10 g a day."

Originally, the purpose of the research study was to measure the effect of vitamin D supplementation on changes in bone mineral density (BMD)—a proven marker of bone strength and bone metabolism. "Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones and muscles. People who are deficient in vitamin D are at increased risk of falls and fractures,” says Benjamin Ellis, Versus Arthritis Senior Clinical Policy Adviser.

However, the results showed no changes in BMD after added doses of vitamin D—but at really high doses there was some added benefits to bone metabolism.

"The results from previous studies assessing the effect of vitamin D on bone mineral density have yielded conflicting results, and our study is a significant contribution to the current debate,” stated Aspray. "While our findings do not support evidence of the benefit of high dose vitamin D supplements, at least on bone mineral density, we do, however, identify that higher doses of the vitamin may have beneficial effects on bone metabolism and that they are safe for older people.

The study is now focusing on the effects of sun exposure ore on vitamin D synthesis in the older population. "In the summer months, Vitamin D is manufactured by the body when sunlight falls on the skin. We can also get vitamin D from certain foods, or dietary supplements,” says Ellis.

Learn more about Vitamin D:

Source: Newcastle University

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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