Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice Uncertainties Page

Should vitamin D supplements be recommended to prevent chronic diseases?

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 29 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h321

Rapid Response:

Professor Meyer state that we need a balanced view on vitamin D, with not too little and not too much and because clear evidence of benefit over harm for vitamin D has not been proved, we should not recommend
vitamin D supplements for prevention of chronic diseases (such
as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic obstructive lung
disease, or diabetes) until more definitive further research
evidence is available. I do agree in full. However, our knowledge about potential harms if we recommend to much vitamin D are increasing. The CopD-study (1) and the recalculations on the NHANES data (2)confirm the potential harm i.e. increased mortality for 25(OH)D3 >100 nmol/L.
I do agree, vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D3 <30 nmol/L) should of course be treated to prevent skeletal complications, falls and fractures.
1. Durup D, Jorgensen HL, Christensen J, Schwarz P, Heegaard AM, Lind B. A reverse J-shaped association of all-cause mortality with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in general practice: the CopD study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012;97:2644-2652.
2. Sempos CT, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Dawson-Hughes B et al. Is there a reverse J-shaped association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and all-cause mortality? Results from the U.S. nationally representative NHANES. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013;98:3001-3009.

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 February 2015
Peter Schwarz
Professor, MD
Glostrup Hospital, Research Centre of Ageing and Osteoporosis
Ndr. Ringvej 69, building 88. 2600 Glostrup, Denmark