Taking Vitamin D supplements is pretty much pointless and could even be harmful to your health, according to a new study.
While taking Vitamin D tablets, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has previously been recommended as a way to improve bone health and muscle strength, latest research suggests they may be a waste of time and money.
The new study said there was no evidence to support claims that the vitamin could be beneficial to bones, or that it could help to prevent other diseases and conditions, including strokes.
Mark Bolland from New Zealand’s University of Auckland said only those who had a severe vitamin D deficiency should bother to take the supplements.
Professor Bolland, who carried out the study in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, said: “We conclude current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease.”
This latest advice directly contradicts recent government messages that everyone should take Vitamin D in the winter because of a lack of sunshine in the UK.
Tim Spector, of King’s College London, said: “We have a strange love affair with vitamin supplements that makes the recent UK government message that everyone should take vitamin D in winter an easy sell.”
He said that far from being beneficial, the study found that those taking Vitamin D actually had an increased risk of suffering a fall or a bone fracture, as well as having issues with soft tissue and kidney damage.
However, Public Health England urged people to heed its advice. Head of nutrition science at the body, Louis Levy said that it had issued the advice following research from renowned musculoskeletal doctors. He said: “For many, a supplement will be necessary.”
However, the conflicting advice will have left people living in Britain, and other parts of the world where winter sunshine is scare, confused about what to do for the good of their health.