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Vitamin D Supplements: Proven Useless?

    February 24, 2014
    Lacy Langley
    Comments are off for this post.

Vitamin D Supplements have been found practically useless in a new study out of New Zealand which flies in the face of everything that we have been told.

Vitamin D has been thought helpful in the prevention of many diseases and ailments such as heart attack, stroke, and even depression. However, the new study finds that Vitamin D in supplement form, among other supplements, could be totally useless.

In the study, researchers found that a group of people given a real Vitamin D supplement and a group given a “dummy” supplement had no marked differences in the diseases with which they suffered.

“Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium does not reduce skeletal or non-skeletal outcomes in unselected community-dwelling individuals by more than 15%. Future trials with similar designs are unlikely to alter these conclusions,” concludes the study conducted by Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Experts say that the best way to get Vitamin D is from food sources like milk, salmon, tuna, and vegetables like mushrooms.

“The take-away message is that there is little justification currently for prescribing vitamin D to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, or fractures in otherwise-healthy people living in the community,” says lead study author Dr. Mark Bolland, according to bio-hormone-health.com.

However, there are still many who would argue that Vitamin D supplementation is absolutely effective. Dr. Michael F Holick, a vitamin D expert and author of “The Vitamin D Solution” book, says that the testing methods done in New Zealand were simply “silly”. He says the results prove nothing since the doses of Vitamin D given test subjects was incredibly small and not what would normally be prescribed.

The RDA for Vitamin D supplementation is only 400 IU per day, yet current research suggests that our daily Vitamin D requirement is closer to 4,000 to 5,000 IU.

Would giving the required dosage have made a difference? I suppose another study will be in order.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


  • Creta

    The typical bs. Everyone is supposed to take drugs instead of taking natural things for their health. The attack on vitamins and herbs never ends. The drug companies profit from this and are probably funding these “studies”!

    • $14108028

      Absolutely! And don’t you love all the warnings they put on medicine commercials these days-a lot of them can cause heart attack stroke cancer, seizures, you name it-and its still ok that these drugs are ok for public consumption! I have to take some prescription medicine and so does my son but we also take vitamins. Women go on risky estrogen replacements for hot flashes when flax oil which is much safer can do the same thing.

  • $14108028

    This is crap. I was showing symptoms of autoimmune disease the rheumatologist put me on mega vitamin d and all my symptoms disappeared. True story. Its hard to believe much of anything you read these days. There’s a reason people get sicker when they lack certain vitamins. Do they really think people believe this bs?

  • vajrapanee

    I can’t drink milk as I am lactose intolerant and while I used to eat Tuna, I won’t anymore due to the Fukushima problem and that goes for salmon too, not that I could ever afford it or had developed a taste for it, anyways.
    So, I will continue to take Vitamin D supplements….and for the reason that I agree with the comments of ‘Creta’ and ‘toomuchuselessinfo’ [great ‘name’ btw.] also.

    • kmandingo

      Try “Whole” milk, unpasteurized, untainted, real food. Your lactose intolerance will disappear completely. Read up about it, it’s mind blowing how even industrial milk processors bust our balls. The only reason they sell dead milk (pastuerized) is because of the extended shelf life!

  • Jane

    Folks who have increased bone density with vitamin D and calcium supplement after taking costly medications with little result, know this is a crock of bs!

  • Digital.Gods

    Interesting and troublesome. While vitamin D may not be good for some things as prescribed, it is certainly good for others. For instance, a common side effect of obesity is a vitamin D shortage, as the body loses its ability to absorb enough vitamin D in some obese people. In my particular case, not obesity related, I was getting extreme cramping under my rib cage and in my lower sides. In about 2-3 weeks after taking vitamin D in daily 2,000 IU dosages, those cramps disappeared completely. This is a completely irresponsible headline. People need to keep a watch on their vitamin levels, and there are all sorts of reasons that a cheap, daily regime which includes vitamins, makes sense. Yes, it would be great if everyone ate right and did all the right things, but realistically in the fast food nation, this is just not happening. Vitamins are inexpensive and readily available, and taken at their proper dosage levels, and may have lasting beneficial results.

  • http://www.hghplus.net David Orman

    Odd. Everyone that I have suggested using D – a lot of patients, including myself – have gotten outstanding results.

  • D

    Vitamin D3 specifically works at dosages of 5000 mgs a day. Regular Vitamin D 2 does not. The results do not indicate which forms of Vitamin D were tested. Nor does it correlate the connection it has in taking Vitamin D3 with Fish oil supplements. Name 2 cities in New Zealand quickly. Another flawed study by a medical group wanting to get their name on the map. KEEP TAKING YOUR VITAMIN D3 AND FISH OIL !!!

    • Harry S. Sebastian

      Christchurch and Auckland. Do I get a prize?

    • kmandingo

      Hobbitsburgh and Hobbitville?

  • Cape

    If your vitamin d level is normal then taking the supplement may be useless. But if your level is extremely low, that is very common in dark skinned individuals who live in the Northern hemisphere like Canada and the Northern states of the US ( where the sun exposure is very low and you happen to be a vegan or vegetarian) then you have to take the supplements to bring up your level to normal and you have to maintenance doses after that to keep the levels within the normal range of 20 to 30.

    this study does not address those factors and this study is useless, not vitamin D.

    • Elizabeth

      Actually white women in North America have the highest incidence of MS and related Vit D deficiency – I am such a person.
      BTW – ask to see your levels, don’t just take your Dr’s word.

  • JADE

    This is absolute bunk, I can tell the difference when taking my D and when I don’t. If D was not important to the human condition, why would we evolve with skin tone that is specific to region to allow the perfect amount of sun exposure, therefore D consumption?

  • Laura

    I don’t buy this. D3 is a very important supplement especially for people with neurological disorders. My mother was diagnosed with MS and the first thing they did was put her on 10,000 IU a day. It has been proven to help with conditionds like MS and Epilepsy.

  • Benny

    I agree with Creta study probably funded by drug companies. Since they don’t make vitamins they can’t profit from research that would show their effectiveness. Experts say best way to get is from food that is probably true but if you need more than the RDA of a paltry 400 IU’s consuming 32 cups of milk is a tough way to get what you need. Not sure how much tuna or mushrooms that equates to but it has to be a lot.

  • Elizabeth

    Check the facts – the dosage that they determined was ineffective was so small that of course it had no affect…then the mega dose was way beyond levels anyone would take so of course that was toxic. The fact this is able to even be published is criminal!!!

  • jimmmmy fallooonas

    Vitamins are under micro nutrients in biology because your body needs so little of them. In fact only antioxidants are good for your body. Stop making yourself sick by taking these useless products. when you look at each meal , your plate should have 50% carbs 45 protein 5 % good fats. Then your body does not steal protein to make carbs and vice-verca good fats like olive oil give your body energy. do it any other way your body will feel weak or sick, as carbs steal protein and protein steals carbs creating a bad balance. If you eat 2 slices of toast with sardines for the next 2 weeks, you will be amazed at the turn around in your health and well being and energy .

  • kmandingo

    Big Pharma plants these BS stories on a regular basis to try and save their lagging sales. If you’ve noticed lately, they have damned Vitamin C, E, Fish oil and B vitamins. Nevermind the dozens if not hundreds of studies to the contrary, this latest test, funded by someone directly connected to Big Pharma is about as legit as a snowflake in hell!

  • Victoria

    I think that we have to take into consideration that if one’s bloodwork shows sufficient vitamin D levels that adding vitamin D would not have any extra positive results . The best way to get every vitamin and mineral is through diet and exercise and going outside in the sun. That being said there are those of us who can’t get outside or burn too easily and need sunscreen that blocks out the vitamin D producing rays might have low levels and benefit from supplementation. I know that is what happens with me. However my doctor tests for it and we keep an eye on it. As with anything the idea is moderation and keeping a balance.

  • dairyking887

    I heard a fascinating discussion by a doctor who had reviewed all the studies ever done on vitamin D. According to him, the death rate for those along the spectrum of what is consider “normal/healthy” vitamin D levels is like a bell curve. For those in the 40-50 ng/ml (in the blood) range, the death rate is lowest. But, if you go to both the outer edges of the low range (0-30) and the high range (60-100), the death rate is much higher. So, it sounded like getting the amount higher than 50 or 60 may just as dangerous as having extremely low levels. My vitamin D level tests consistently low (25 or less) and I am out in the sun all the time. So, very frustrating and it’s clear that the medical community still does not have a clear handle on what vitamin D levels truly mean.

  • Janet Lurker

    Give them six months and they will be saying that Vitamin D is the cure for cancer. Every six months there is a new opinion on everything.

  • Chris Kallenberg

    From what I can discern from all of these recent studies on Vits and organic food the only thing they are sure is good for us is white processed cane sugar.

  • What

    What’s useless is this article!!!

  • tippytoes0125

    My diabetic father was averaging about three broken toes per year, until he started taking 2000 IU of vitamin D daily. He hasn’t broken a toe in two years.

    I take 5000 IU daily, which freaked out my doctor who had me get my blood levels tested right away. When he got the results, he laughed and said I am his only patient whose levels are not low. Mine were perfect. I don’t get winter blues anymore. Colds last about two days instead of two weeks.

    Thanks, but I’ll keep taking my useless vitamin D.

  • Jeff Kelly

    She has chickens named Thelma and Louise? Oops, looks like science is telling us she will not have succeeding generations of chickens!!

  • T F

    Who paid for this study? Follow the money.

  • Guest

    The “HRC Data Monitoring Core Committee” sounds a lot to me like “socialistic evil cover up” to me.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe this article, my vitamin D was very low and it totally helped my immune system and some aches and pains I was having. So your article can go in the trash, probably funded by Big Pharma!

  • Jimmy john

    I was tested and found to have low vitamin d my number was 19 .I took 1,000 d3 for six months along with a reg multi vitamin sup and was tested again. I was at 19 so now I take 2,000 d3 a day

  • Faye

    Total BS. Who was this study funded by Big Pharma? Of course, they do not want us using natural things for our health.

  • Lewis Shabbs

    Dear author, read the paper again.

    The paper never makes the claim that Vitamin D supplementation is useless, however reports that when used in healthy individuals; it is inappropriate for preventing diseases and ailments.

    “Our analyses suggest that there is reliable existing evidence that supplementation of vitamin D with or without calcium does not reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction or ischaemic heart disease, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, cancer, total fractures, or hip fractures in community-dwelling individuals by more than 15%.”

    Evidence shows that vitamin D is important for combating the ailments listed above, however; if you have normal levels of Vitamin D, taking extra supplements will not further prevent the ailments from occurring. That is what I understood from the paper.

    Furthermore, as any physician would agree (and I would assume the authors of the paper): supplementation is needed for patients suffering from any type of deficiency.

    Your article is misleading the reader from what the paper reports.

  • Melody

    I had severe tenderness in both elbows (it was so painful and doctors couldn’t diagnose the problem for a year!) Several women told me it was a deficiency in vitamin D so I took larger doses of vitamin D with calcium and guess what? Not only did the pain go away but it only took several days. A doctor is not a nutritionist.

  • Sef

    I’m sure this was a short term research that’s full of BS. There is research that backs up vitamin D and has lots of great benefits