Study shows that Vitamin D supplements do not improve bone density in healthy children
According to a new study published in the Cochrane Systematic Review
, giving vitamin D supplements to healthy children with normal vitamin D levels does not improve their bone density.
Having healthy levels of vitamin D is important in children, as building bones early can help decrease the risk for osteoporosis later in life. The nutrient helps the body absorb calcium from food, reduces loss of calcium from the body and encourages calcium deposition into bone.
The researchers set out to discover whether boosting levels of vitamin D in healthy children encouraged their bones to lay down greater amounts of calcium. They searched existing literature for carefully conducted studies that had compared giving children vitamin D supplements to giving placebos.
"Vitamin D supplementation had no statistically significant effects on bone density at any site in healthy children. There was, however, some indication that children who had low levels of vitamin D in their blood might benefit from supplementation," said Dr Tania Winzenberg, from the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, Hobart.
This study adds to the existing reports published in The Cochrane Library
that look at the effect of giving vitamin supplements to children.