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Vitamin D trials by military – all 4 found benefit – review Sept 2019

Vitamin D Supplementation in Military Personnel: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Sports Health. 2019 Sep/Oct;11(5):425-431. doi: 10.1177/1941738119857717

Sivakumar G1, Koziarz A2, Farrokhyar F3,4.
1 University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
2 University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3 Department of Health, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
4 Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

CONTEXT: Vitamin D supplementation is important in military research because of its role in musculoskeletal health.

This systematic review examined the effects of vitamin D supplementation on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and musculoskeletal health outcomes in military personnel.

A comprehensive search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SportDiscus, and the Cochrane Library databases and the reference lists of existing review articles and relevant studies.

STUDY SELECTION: Reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts, and full texts of the articles using predefined criteria.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement.


Three reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the methodological quality. Mean differences with 95% CI in serum 25(OH)D concentrations between the vitamin D and placebo arms were calculated.

Four RCTs were included in the qualitative analyses. The 25(OH)D concentrations were improved with 2000 IU/d supplementation (mean difference, 3.90 ng/mL; 95% CI, 0.22-7.58). A trial on female Navy recruits showed a significant decrease in stress fractures (risk ratio, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62-0.95), particularly tibial fractures, from daily supplementation of 800 IU vitamin D and 2000 mg calcium.

There was a positive trend in 25(OH)D concentrations from higher doses of supplementary vitamin D in military submariners and a possible benefit to bone health when vitamin D was combined with calcium.

Created by admin. Last Modification: Friday November 8, 2019 13:33:05 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 1)