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Articles March 2014 Issue

New Questions About Benefits from Vitamin D Beyond Bones

So far, randomized trials fail to back up benefits seen in observational studies.

If you’ve been popping vitamin D supplements for benefits beyond bone health—such as preventing heart disease, cancer or diabetes—it’s too soon to know if those pills are really doing you any good. That’s the lesson, experts say, from a sweeping new review of 290 observational studies and 172 randomized trials of vitamin D, chronic disease and mortality. Although vitamin D deficiency was associated with a variety of health problems in the observational studies, the trials in which participants were actually given extra vitamin D failed to prove a benefit.

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