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Primary care
Vitamin D does not prevent fractures and falls
  1. Carl Heneghan1,
  2. Kamal R Mahtani2
  1. 1 Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Carl Heneghan, Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK; carl.heneghan{at}phc.ox.ac.uk

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Whether vitamin D improves bone health has been unclear—that is until now. Early evidence suggested benefit, but a recent systemic review concludes there is no effect on fractures, falls or bone mineral density in primary prevention.

EBM Verdict

EBM Verdict on: effects of vitamin D supplementation on musculoskeletal health: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and trial sequential analysis. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2018;6(11):847–58. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30265-1.

  • Current evidence does not justify routinely recommending vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures or falls in adults. Further evidence is unlikely to affect this result and guidelines should be amended to reflect this new evidence.

Many prominent bodies have recommended vitamin D supplementation in largely well people for the prevention of fractures.1 Whether this recommendation is correct, however, it has been unclear. That is until now.

In 2016, the Public Health England advised everyone should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D in autumn and winter ‘to help …

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