In recent years, researchers have been studying more extensively the effects of vitamin D supplementation in respiratory infections, with some clinical trials finding no significant effects, while others have suggested that it may have protective effects. Importance Epidemiologic and experimental evidence suggests vitamin D supplementation can decrease the incidence of metastatic cancers and cancer-related deaths, reflecting shared biological pathways. Quest Diagnostics findings indicate that vitamin D supplementation may act via general, not specific, mechanisms, to lower risk for developing advanced cancer. Because of volumetric dilution30 or decreased bioactivity of vitamin D 3, individuals with excess body mass or obesity may need higher dosages to achieve benefits for the prevention of cancer, analogous to differences by body mass in aspirin dosing requirements. In addition, previous studies indicate other mechanisms by which vitamin D supplementation might decrease the cancer risk of participants at normal weight, but not of participants at excess weight or obese individuals.
Specifically, vitamin D supplementation did indeed lower the risk of diabetes in participants with the lowest vitamin D blood levels at study commencement. At two years, blood levels of vitamin D were 54.3 ng/mL and 28.2 ng/mL, respectively, in the supplemented group and in the placebo group, but there were no significant differences in rates of T2D observed at the 2.5-year follow-up. In conclusion, this randomized clinical trial with daily high-dose vitamin D supplementation over a 5-year period reduced the rate of late-stage cancers (metastases or lethal) among 25,871 patients, with the strongest reductions in risk among those at normal weight. Bone Health & Muscle Strength Some studies have linked low blood levels of vitamin D to increased fracture risk in older adults, and suggest vitamin D supplementation might protect against these fractures – if taken at high enough doses.
Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health, and, together with calcium, helps keep people from developing osteoporosis. For most people, the best way to get vitamin D is to take a supplement, as it is difficult to get enough from food. Households that follow a vegetarian diet may have difficulty getting vitamin B12 through enriched foods. A B12 supplement may help if you have type 2 diabetes and are lacking in this vitamin.
In terms of staying healthy, most people will not need to take a supplement in order to get adequate amounts of the B vitamins. To treat B vitamin deficiencies, doctors would probably advise that a person should take supplements or increase their consumption of specific foods that provide a target vitamin. However, supplements can be useful if a genuine vitamin deficiency exists. Supplementation is a last resort only if an individual cannot get B vitamins from their diet or has a specific medical condition that requires the use of supplements.
Dietary supplements usually contain vitamins, but they can also contain other ingredients, such as minerals, herbs, and botanicals. While vitamins and nutritional or dietary supplements can benefit your health, they may also pose health risks. For children who have a chronic condition that impacts the way they absorb foods such as coeliac disease or Crohns disease vitamins and minerals from a standard, healthy diet may be inadequate.
Ensuring sufficient food supply via fortification and supplementation of nutrients may be critical for preventing severe adverse outcomes from nutritional deficiencies in low- and middle-income countries, particularly for children younger than five years, for whom malnutrition is responsible for over half their mortality. In conclusion, current evidence does not support recommending vitamin supplements or fish oil supplements for reducing non-communicable diseases in populations with no clinically diagnosed nutritional deficiencies. To date, randomised trials mainly demonstrate no benefits from vitamin, mineral, and fish oil supplements for risk for non-communicable major diseases among individuals with no clinical nutritional deficiencies. Researchers have spent years tracking associations between low vitamin D levels and other diseases obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, and cancer but they either ended up with mixed results or found no apparent benefit of supplementation.
Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (unlike vitamin C, which is water-soluble), there is a risk that excessive supplementation could result in toxicity, and some studies suggest taking more than 50,000 IUs, or international units, on a regular basis could be harmful. The lower amounts of vitamin D found in foods are unlikely to reach toxicity levels, and a large amount of sunlight exposure does not cause toxicity, as excess heat from the skin keeps D3 from forming. Many foods and supplements are fortified with vitamin D, such as dairy products and grains.
Vitamin D supplementation is recommended for nursing babies prior to whole milk and the introduction of solid foods. NHANES data found the average vitamin D intake of women aged 51-71 years was 308IU per day from foods and supplements, but only 140IU from foods alone (including fortified foods). Supplement use contributed significantly to overall vitamin and mineral intake at the population level.13 U.S. adults had intakes of vitamin B 6, thiamin, and riboflavin that were at least five times higher in supplements compared to foods, and supplement intakes were 15-20 times higher for vitamins B 12 and E.6 Supplement use, therefore, significantly reduced the share of the total population that had insufficient nutrient consumption. Unless a specific vitamin or supplement is recommended by a healthcare provider, adding one more pill to your regimen is likely to be less useful or cost-effective. In the end, make sure to talk with your diabetes team before making changes: Your health care team can help you decide whether adding a vitamin or supplement to your regimen is the right move. It is not realistic to think that a single supplement is the be-all and end-all, but there are some compelling reasons for exploring vitamin D in the COVID-19 context. Even the nations leading infectious disease physician, Anthony Fauci, has bought into the idea of using vitamin D to help keep COVID-19 at bay, saying in September he takes a supplement to keep himself from becoming deficient, and hedt hesitate to recommend it to others. The jury is still out on Vitamin D. There is a link between higher blood concentrations of vitamin D in childhood and lower risk for Type 1 diabetes.