An analysis by University of Auckland researchers shows that unless you are at high-risk of low vitamin D levels, there’s no need to take a supplement.
Associate professor Mark Bolland says after analysing around 50 systemic reviews, “we conclude that current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease”.
Instead, Dr Bollard says we should focus on eating a healthy balanced diet with food containing vitamin D, and getting regular short bursts of sunshine.
Researchers looked at close to 200-300 clinical trials as part of the analysis and background work, which is published in the British Medical Journal.
“Most people in New Zealand have healthy vitamin D levels and don’t need to be concerned about taking vitamin D supplements,” Dr Bollard says.
“This is especially true if people are healthy and do outdoor activities. People at high risk of very low vitamin D levels include people who get little sunshine exposure or who actively avoid the sun, especially if they have darkly pigmented skin.
“Such people could consider discussing with their doctor whether a low dose vitamin D supplement taken each day might be helpful for them,” he says.
Foods containing vitamin D include oily fish, egg yolk, red meat, liver, fortified breakfast cereals and fat spreads, Dr Bollard says.
Read more about vitamin D here.