Why not use supplements to combat vitamin D deficiency?

There have been calls for use of vitamin D supplements as a means of correcting low vitamin D status in European populations. While supplementation has been shown to significantly improve vitamin D intake across a variety of age, race, ethnic and gender groups, with dose-dependent increases (significant amount of vitamin D supplement has to be taken), relying on supplements is not an appropriate public health strategy to increase intakes across the population distribution because supplements are effective only in those who consume them and with uptake usually lower than ∼ 40% (Fulgoni et al . 2011; Whiting et al. 2011; Black et al. 2015). It is important to remember that vitamin D is a nutrient, and many authors now acknowledge that it is best taken in moderate amounts on a regular basis. High dose regimens correct deficiency only in the short term and may have unintended adverse effects (Sanders et al . 2010). While we acknowledge the usefulness of supplements under medical supervision for immediate correction of clinical deficiency, public health strategy must be designed to meet the needs of the unsupervised majority, on an on-going basis.


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