Oakland Southfield Physicians

OSP News

Vitamin D Supplementation: Is it necessary?

Posted: 04/04/2019

Recent research shows supplementation of vitamin D might not be as beneficial as originally thought. Consumers should consider how much vitamin D they are receiving from daily diet and unprotected sunlight exposure before deciding to take a vitamin D supplement.

The 2015 – 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans listed vitamin D as an under-consumed nutrient of public health concern. At this time, more consumers began taking vitamin D supplements due to generally low dietary intake and studies that indicated vitamin D could help prevent several chronic diseases. However, recent research did not show any clinically significant improvement of bone density, nor reduction of falls or fractures with vitamin D supplementation. A second recent study showed no reduced risk of cancer or cardiovascular risks in those taking vitamin D supplement. These recent studies have consumers wondering if they should continue to take a vitamin D supplement. Health professionals recommend that consumers evaluate the amount of vitamin D they are consuming in food and how much unprotected sun exposure they are receiving before deciding to get rid of their supplement. Food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, fortified milk products/milk alternatives, egg yolks, and vitamin D enhanced mushrooms. The human body can also synthesize vitamin D from sunlight exposure, but spending time indoors, being at northern latitudes or using sunscreen reduces exposure and vitamin D synthesis. All consumers have different diets, sun exposure and vitamin D needs, therefore, the best way to determine the need for a vitamin D supplement is to conduct a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.

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