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Limits of vitamin D supplements

All the studies used blood levels of vitamin D to measure outcomes.

Written by New York Times | Published: December 14, 2013 4:01:38 am

Limits of vitamin D supplements

A large review of studies has found that vitamin D supplements have little or no benefit beyond the low levels required for bone health. The meta-analysis,published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology,combined data from 290 observational studies and 172 random trials. All the studies used blood levels of vitamin D to measure outcomes. Dosages varied,but most trials used 800 units or more. The observational studies generally found an association of lower vitamin D levels with increases in cardiovascular disease,lipid concentrations,glucose levels,weight gain,infectious disease and mood disorders. But random trials showed little or no effect of vitamin D supplements on any of these problems. The authors conclude that low vitamin D levels are almost surely an effect of these diseases,and not a cause.

Idea of ‘healthy obesity’ tested

New York: The idea that there are obese people who are nonetheless healthy may be a myth.

Although some overweight or obese people have normal cholesterol,glucose levels and blood pressure – elements of so-called metabolic health – a new study suggests that obesity by itself increases the risk for heart disease,stroke,diabetes and death. Researchers analysed 12 studies that had together followed more than 61,000 adults,most for at least 10 years. About 9 per cent of the subjects were obese and metabolically healthy – that is,they had normal LDL,HDL and total cholesterol,along with healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Compared with metabolically healthy people of normal weight,the obese group had a 24 per cent increased risk for fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke,and for death by any cause.

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