Non-skeletal health effects of vitamin D supplementation: a systematic review on findings from meta-analyses summarizing trial data

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Rejnmark, Lars
Bislev, Lise Sofie
Cashman, Kevin D.
Eiriksdottir, Gudny
Gaksch, Martin
Gruebler, Martin
Grimnes, Guri
Gudnason, Vilmundur
Lips, Paul
Pilz, Stefan
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Background A large number of observational studies have reported harmful effects of low 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels on non-skeletal outcomes. We performed a systematic quantitative review on characteristics of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) included in meta-analyses (MAs) on non-skeletal effects of vitamin D supplementation. Methods and findings We identified systematic reviews (SR) reporting summary data in terms of MAs of RCTs on selected non-skeletal outcomes. For each outcome, we summarized the results from available SRs and scrutinized included RCTs for a number of predefined characteristics. We identified 54 SRs including data from 210 RCTs. Most MAs as well as the individual RCTs reported null-findings on risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, weight-loss, and malignant diseases. Beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation was reported in 1 of 4 MAs on depression, 2 of 9 MAs on blood pressure, 3 of 7 MAs on respiratory tract infections, and 8 of 12 MAs on mortality. Most RCTs have primarily been performed to determine skeletal outcomes, whereas non-skeletal effects have been assessed as secondary outcomes. Only one-third of the RCTs had low level of 25OHD as a criterion for inclusion and a mean baseline 25OHD level below 50 nmol/L was only present in less than half of the analyses. Conclusions Published RCTs have mostly been performed in populations without low 25OHD levels. The fact that most MAs on results from RCTs did not show a beneficial effect does not disprove the hypothesis suggested by observational findings on adverse health outcomes of low 25OHD levels.
Randomized controlled trials , Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D , Placebo controlled trial , Nutrition examination survey , 3Rd national health , Respiratory tract infection , Smooth muscle cells , Impaired glucose tolerance , Parathyroid hormone levels , Controlled clinical trial
Rejnmark, L., Bislev, L. S., Cashman, K. D., Eiríksdottir, G., Gaksch, M., Grübler, M., Grimnes, G., Gudnason, V., Lips, P., Pilz, S., van Schoor, N. M., Kiely, M. and Jorde, R. (2017) 'Non-skeletal health effects of vitamin D supplementation: a systematic review on findings from meta-analyses summarizing trial data', PLOS ONE, 12(7), e0180512 (39pp). doi: