Vitamin D has been thought to help with arthritis, fight off depression and even reduce cancer risk. But according to a recent, thorough examination of the available research, vitamin D is looking a lot less like the magic remedy some have claimed it to be. Photo by Colin Grady.
The research analysis, led by Michael Allan, the director of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Alberta, involved more than 80 studies on vitamin D, and found very little evidence that supports taking vitamin D as a supplement. We've known for a while that taking vitamin supplements are a crap shoot, but vitamin D has long been lauded as the most promising. In a press release, Allan even mentions that he and his research team went into their analysis hopeful:
Even areas that we really thought there was good evidence for benefit early on, don't seem to be bearing out. The one that we probably have the most evidence for is fractures... Many people would say taking a drug for 10 years to stop one in every 50 fractures is probably not enough to be meaningful. And that's the best vitamin D gets as far as we know now.
Despite past claims, Allan's research suggests that vitamin D does little to treat rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and depression, and it won't prevent respiratory tract infections or cancer. The research analysis also backs up the fact that you don't need to have your vitamin D levels checked regularly. You can learn more at the link below.
Vitamin D: A Narrative Review Examining the Evidence for Ten Beliefs [the Journal of General Internal Medicine via Mental Floss]