Recently, Vitamin D has been thought to have multiple effects. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to onset of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer. However it is well known that Vitamin D has a major action on bones. Weakening of bones in adults and reduced growth of bones leading to short stature in children are fully established as being due to Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, the question is – does Vitamin D have any benefits beyond bone health?
This is an important question, as there has been an increasing number of testing done to measure Vitamin D levels in blood. Also, a large number of subjects are being started on Vitamin D preparations as medication. Are all these measures justified?
In one of the largest studies, authors analysed 87 meta-analyses of Vitamin D replacement. What is a meta-analysis? Well, each meta-analysis itself is an analysis of several studies, making this research one of the largest ever analysis of Vitamin D replacement.
The authors concluded that Vitamin D deficiency and replacement was important only to protect bone health. There was little evidence that Vitamin D could benefit any disease other than bone-related diseases. The researchers suggest that Vitamin D deficiency could be a consequence and not really a cause of all these different illnesses. However, for bone health, of course, Vitamin D deficiency, and its correction are important.
Source: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology