Taking vitamin D supplements might be a bad idea, says Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology from Kings College, who cites a number of new research in an article on The Conversation. He lays great emphasis on studies linking high doses of the nutrient and increased risk of falls and fractures.
Past studies have shown that the intake of vitamin D supplements constitutes a cure for many a condition caused by the lack of the nutrient. This is what, for instance, led experts to recommend patients to take the supplements to have relief from osteoporosis and related bone problems.
On the other hand, little evidence actually exists concerning the benefits of the supplements, as per the article authored by Spector. Furthermore, a number of studies point at the risks entailed in taking vitamin D artificially.
Spector mentions a paper published this year that argues high doses of the vitamin can increase the risk of falls and fractures. Furthermore, a 2015 study conducted in Finland found slightly higher fracture rates relating to vitamin D supplements. A study involving more than 2,000 old people from Australia found that those taking high doses of vitamin D had a 20 to 30 % greater risk of fractures and falls than those having lower doses.
It appears that the supplements taken for the protection of one’s bones are actually doing the opposite.
Analyses from 27 studies show that vitamin and mineral supplements failed to protect against cancer or heart problems. Moreover, if consumed excessively, they can increase one’s risk to developing heart disease and cancer. Not only are they described as being ineffective, but they can also be harmful.
Furthermore, while many researchers have linked vitamin D deficiency with over a hundred diseases, a 2014 BMJ paper describes these associations as fake.
Even good things are harmful when in excess. This concept is further highlighted in two trials that found that at 40,000 to 60,000 units of the vitamin per month, it becomes dangerous. This is alarming because the usual recommended dose in most countries is around 24,000 to 30,000 units monthly.