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A recent clinical trial has found that Vitamin D supplements do not improve bone strength or prevent bone fractures in children. It is estimated that around one in three children experience at least one bone fracture before the age of 18. Medical experts warn that these fractures can result in long-term disability and a reduced quality of life.

Vitamin D supplementation in children doesn’t reduce bone fracture

Over the past few years there has been a growing interest in the potential advantages of vitamin D supplements in enhancing bone strength and reducing fracture risk in children. This interest stems from the vitamin’s role in bone mineralization. However, previous studies have not provided conclusive evidence regarding these effects.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a comprehensive trial to investigate the effects of vitamin D supplements on bone health. The study involved Mongolian children between six and 13 years old, who received a weekly vitamin D supplement for three years. Despite significantly increasing vitamin D levels, the supplements did not impact fracture risk or bone strength. These findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, challenge previous beliefs about the relationship between vitamin D and bone health.

The trial, the largest of its kind on vitamin D supplementation in children, is anticipated to lead scientists, doctors, and public health experts to reconsider the significance of Vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D supplementation with calcium promotes fracture prevention

Dr. Ganmaa Davaasambuu, an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, highlights the lack of impact from sustained vitamin D supplementation on fracture risk or bone strength in vitamin D deficient children. In adults, combining calcium with vitamin D supplementation has shown positive effects on fracture prevention.

Davaasambuu explained that sustained and generous vitamin D supplementation did not show any impact on fracture risk or bone strength in vitamin D deficient children. The absence of positive results is attributed to the omission of calcium supplementation alongside vitamin D, which has been found to be more effective for fracture prevention in adult.