In a recent case study, a British researcher has slashed the reputation of the so-called friend to our bodies: vitamin D. A substance whose benefits could actually have been largely over-estimated but that could even, in too high a dose, could be quite harmful to our health.
Could the reputation of the sacred vitamin D be suffering? Well this is what the results from lots of studies recently carried out among hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world are suggesting on the subject, and what the Professor in genetic epidemiology at King’s College in London, Tim Spencer is suggesting in an article that he published on the website known as The Conversation.
The most important of these articles were published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) and they show that no link can be established between the risk of fractures and blood levels of vitamin D at any stage in your life. This study was carried out among more than 500,000 people, of which there were around 188,000 cases of fractures and really called into question the actual efficiency of one of the most famous vitamins in the world.
The myth crumbles
Already by 2014, analysis carried out on available scientific data concluded that vitamin D supplements actually had no effect on all types of fractures. According to the authors of these studies, the benefits that were previously associated with vitamin D could actually have been a sham that came from studies conducted in the 1980s that were probably biased and were never replicated.
Almost a year ago to the day, the journal JAMA published another meta-analysis that highlights the link between calcium and vitamin D supplements and the effects of fractures in older people. Their final conclusions show that neither of these substances seem to be any good at preventing fractures from occurring or having benefits for muscle strength or mobility. The myth that vitamin D is such a precious part of our bones is breaking down bit by bit.
From a magic potion… to a poison
Even worse still, ingesting too much vitamin D could even have a negative effect that we didn’t expect, as Professor Tim Spector reveals.
‘Several randomised trials have shown that patients with high blood levels or taking large doses of vitamin D had an unexpected increased risk of falls and fractures. Vitamin D is far from safe,’ continued the specialist.
But as well as the alleged benefits for your bones, and especially when it comes to preventing osteoporosis, this substance was also supposed to prevent other illnesses and conditions from developing, with certain cardiovascular conditions being right at the top of the list. But for Professor Tim Spector, this isn’t necessarily true. On the contrary actually.
Vitamin D is an ‘imposter’
‘It was widely believed that vitamin D supplements prevented cardiovascular disease, but meta-analyses and large-scale genetic MR studies have ruled this out,’ says Tim Spector.
And then the specialist really started slating the once thought to be sacred vitamin D.
‘We have created another pseudo-disease that is encouraged by vitamin companies, patient groups, food manufacturers, public health departments and charities. Vitamin D, despite its star status, would not be called a vitamin today as the doses needed are too large, the body can synthesis it from skin, and it is a steroid precursor. Instead of relying on this imposter, healthy people should get vitamin D from small doses of sunshine every day as well as from food, such as fish, oil, mushrooms and dairy products.’ In other words, we should be avoiding these supplements that many people are taking.
‘About half the population take vitamins daily, despite zero benefits, with increasing evidence of harm. While vitamin D treatment still has a rare medical role in severe deficiency or those bed bound, the rest of us should avoid being ‘treated’ with this steroid for this pseudo-disease and focus on having a healthy lifestyle,’ concluded the researcher. This case study really seems to have pushed our sacred vitamin D off its pedestal.
Check out the video above for more on this fascinating study!