New report questions vitamin D supplementation

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Researchers in France claim that low vitamin D levels are an effect — not a cause — of disease, and recommend against supplementation.

Just when it seemed like vitamin D was the new king of dietary supplements — with benefits that include regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, immune function, pain, inflammation, and muscle strength — a recent review of hundreds of studies and clinical trials is knocking D off its throne.

The new analysis, published online this week in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, found that although low vitamin D levels are associated with higher risk of a wide variety of diseases, supplementation had little impact on disease occurrence.

In other words, low vitamin D levels are an effect — not a cause — of conditions including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, and certain cancers.

READ MORE: The Vitamin D Debate

According to the team of researchers at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, low vitamin D levels are likely caused by disease-related inflammation. Inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases, which would explain why vitamin D deficiency appears linked to so many conditions.

In their  report, the researchers went so far as to advise against supplementation, calling it an “ill-advised practice.”

Tell us: Do you currently supplement with vitamin D? Has it impacted your health? Will this impact your decision to continue supplementation? Share your experience in the comments below or tweet us at @experiencelife.

Maggie Fazeli Fard is an Experience Life staff writer.