How Effective Are Vitamin D Supplements?

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues & Innovations
Belmont Media Center, April 23, 2024 (11:30AM, Zoom)

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, MPH, DrPH, Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine;
Professor of Medicine, Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health,
Harvard Medical School; Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Professor, Dept of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle strength, but the belief that it significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and numerous other conditions is questionable. Although Vitamin D supplements are still widely used, well designed studies have established that the supplements are not needed by most people because we need only small-to-moderate amounts of vitamin D. Sunshine and dietary intake provide adequate vitamin D for most people. Dr. JoAnn Manson led one of the largest and most respected randomized trials that contradicted the belief that vitamin D supplements are a cure-all. In this discussion she explains the difference between natural vitamin sources, fortified foods, and supplements. She also addresses the importance of the structure of scientific studies in determining the effects of medications and supplements.

Background: Dr. Manson's studies referenced in these articles

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need? Washington Post 09/12/22

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need to Stay Healthy? Scientific American, 01/01/24