Researchers took a close look at 33 trials involving more than 50,000 adults, all over the age of 50. All 33 of those trials compared either a vitamin D or calcium supplement to the effects of a placebo. What they learned is that it didn't really matter if someone took a supplement or placebo when it came to protecting against bone fractures or osteoporosis—which implies that vitamin D supplements aren't all that effective overall.
A couple things to unpack here: One, the study doesn't say what brand of vitamin D the participants took and as you probably know, the supplement business is unpredictable (AKA largely unregulated). It's super important to research and find a brand you trust that is transparent about their sourcing. Second, while a vitamin D supplement should keep your bones strong, there are also other benefits, such as supporting mental health and digestive health, neither of which the study touches upon. The focus here was strictly bone health.
So, what does this mean for you? Again, it comes down to a combo of doing your best to get your fill through diet—with foods like eggs, salmon, mushrooms, and tuna—and investing in a supplement you trust.
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