Scientists claim there is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to stave off chronic disease and early death - and results of several multi-million dollar trials currently under way are unlikely to alter this view.
A new review examines existing evidence from 40 randomised controlled trials - the gold standard for proving cause and effect - and concludes that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or bone fractures in the general population by more than 15 per cent.
In fact, vitamin D supplements probably provide little, if any, health benefit, according to the study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
In Britain, the supplements market is worth £700 million a year - a growth of 16 per cent in five years - and the most popular pills are multi-vitamins and fish oils, which contain vitamin D.
Some scientists assumed vitamin D, which is produced naturally by exposure to sunlight, could protect against disease because patients with cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer’s, or who died prematurely, often had very low levels of the nutrient.
However, evidence from some trials suggests that rather than vitamin D deficiency leading to disease, these illnesses stop the body from producing vitamin D - so sufferers have lower levels.Last month, a review of 462 studies involving more than a million adults said a lack of vitamin D was not a trigger for many common illnesses.
Source - Daily Mail