Big Study Finds Vitamin D Doesn’t Lower Risk Of Fractures

This came out over the summer and I was meaning to get to it. It used the big VITAL cohort. (VITAL was studying vitamin D3 and omega-3 for cancer and heart disease. They found them not useful for those conditions.)

Here’s the fracture study:
Supplemental Vitamin D and Incident Fractures in Midlife and Older Adults, New England Journal of Medicine, 28 July 2022

Background: Vitamin D supplements are widely recommended for bone health in the general population, but data on whether they prevent fractures have been inconsistent.

Results: Among 25,871 participants (50.6% women [13,085 of 25,871] and 20.2% Black [5106 of 25,304]), we confirmed 1991 incident fractures in 1551 participants over a median follow-up of 5.3 years. Supplemental vitamin D3, as compared with placebo, did not have a significant effect on total fractures (which occurred in 769 of 12,927 participants in the vitamin D group and in 782 of 12,944 participants in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89 to 1.08; P=0.70), nonvertebral fractures (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.07; P=0.50), or hip fractures (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.47; P=0.96).

Supplementing with vitamin D3 at 2000 IU per day for about 5 years did not result in a lower risk of fractures.

From media articles:
Study Finds Another Condition That Vitamin D Pills Do Not Help, New York Times, 27 July 2022

The results, published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, hold for people with osteoporosis and even those whose blood tests deemed them vitamin D deficient.

Dr. Manson [lead researcher on VITAL study] said. “But we seem to need only small-to-moderate amounts of the vitamin for bone health. Larger amounts do not confer greater benefits.”

Vitamin D Supplements Fail To Lower Risk Of Fractures In Healthy Adults, Study Says, UPI, 27 July 2022

“Overall, the results from this large clinical trial do not support the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce fractures in generally healthy U.S. men and women,” Dr. Meryl LeBoff, the study’s lead author, said in the release.

I still hear doctors recommending vitamin D for bone health. It’s going to be hard to change people’s minds about this.

3 thoughts on “Big Study Finds Vitamin D Doesn’t Lower Risk Of Fractures

  1. Bix Post author

    I think people will continue taking vitamin D to prevent fractures. This study won’t matter. We are a pill society. When something goes wrong, we think about what pill we can take, instead of what behavior we can change. I am not immune.


  2. Marj

    Yes, and my doctor recommends that I take 6000 Vit D3 daily plus a HUGE 50,000 Vit D3 every month now for 3 months. I am not considered deficient but he thinks it should be much higher than it is.



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