In the last few years, vitamin D has been part of a health craze, with claims of it improving just about every possible health outcome while a lack of it has even been linked to things like autism.
Is it a miracle supplement? Not so fast, Joe Mercola. Another large randomized trial (JAMA Cardiology, April 5, 2017; doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0175) has deflated its growing mythology. A new paper indicates that, despite popular claims, monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease.
The authors randomly assigned adults (age 50 to 84 years) to receive oral vitamin D3 (n = 2,558; an initial dose of 200,000 IU, followed a month later by monthly doses of 100,000 IU) or placebo (n = 2,552) for a median of 3.3 years.
Of the 5,108 participants included in the primary analysis, the average age was 66 years; 25 percent were vitamin D deficient. Cardiovascular disease occurred in 303 participants (11.8 percent) in the vitamin D group and 293 participants (11.5 percent) in the placebo group. Similar results were seen for participants with vitamin D deficiency at study entry and for other outcomes such as heart attack, angina, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke.
The authors write that the results of this study do not support the use of monthly high-dose vitamin D for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
As Dr. Ruth Kava, Senior Nutrition Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health, phrased it, "We certainly understand that people are interested in using vitamin D to help prevent disease, but we must emphasize that the data to support that use, except as it involves bone health, simply aren't there yet."