Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand have released a study claiming that vitamin D does not protect against medical issues dealing with bones, the cardiovascular system and cancer.
Funding for this study was provided by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HCR-NZ).
Researchers analyzed 40 scientific studies, considered a “global standard” because they were randomized controlled trials, concerning vitamin D and the long-term healthful effects.
Referred to as the “futility analysis” the team made their conclusions that vitamin D has no benefit for fighting diseases and asserted that it would be unlikely that subsequent studies could disprove their findings.
It is known throughout the medical community that vitamin D deficiency will manifest as diseases such as arthritis, muscle weakness, heart disease, cancer, cognitive impairment in the elderly and severe asthma in children.
Michael Holick, professor of medicine at Boston University (BU) remarked that this study was based on reviews of inadequate findings.
Holick said: “The scientific term for it is ‘silly’.”
The study pointed out that an estimated 50% of Americans take vitamin D supplements.
Karl Michaëlsson, researcher for the Uppsala University, called for stricter labeling on vitamin D supplements because of the harm they can cause.
Michaëlsson said: “Without stringent indications — i.e. supplementing those without true vitamin D insufficiency — there is a legitimate fear that vitamin D supplementation might actually cause net harm.”
This study could be used to justify recent claims that vitamin supplements have no positive medicinal effect.
Several scientists came together to contribute to a paper entitled, “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” which outlines “that most mineral and vitamin supplements have no clear benefit, might even be harmful in well-nourished adults, and should not be used for chronic disease prevention.”
An interesting conclusion was that “doses of vitamins may be too low” for effectiveness.
In opposition, researchers at the University of Southampton (US) and Edinburgh University (EU) have shown that blood vessels were more dilated after two 20 minute tanning sessions under UVA lighting; proving that vitamin D produced by sunlight has positive medicinal value.
Martin Feelisch, professor of experimental medicine and integrative biology at US said: “Nitric oxide, along with its breakdown products, known to be abundant in skin, is involved in the regulation of blood pressure. When exposed to sunlight, small amounts of nitric oxide are transferred from the skin to the circulation, lowering blood vessel tone; as blood pressure drops, so does the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
The 24 participant’s blood pressure was measurably lowered while nitric oxide levels were elevated in the blood stream.
The research team explained that “blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are known to vary according to season and latitude, with higher levels observed in winter and in countries further from the equator, where ultraviolet radiation from the sun is lower.”
The study concluded that a “modest effect of sunlight is significant on a population level, where small reductions in average blood pressure can have vast public health benefits.”