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
Soldiers need vitamin D, but levels cut in half in 18 years – March 2014 18 studies as of Nov 2019
- Large decreases in Vitamin D and Iron during military basic training – March 2017
- Suicide 2X more likely with low vitamin D (in military) – Jan 2013
- Military in hot climates and vitamin D deficiency - 2010
- VA found less testing for vitamin D resulted in increased health costs – Jan 2012
- 5,000 IU Vitamin D daily resulted in many benefits after 3 months (US soldiers) – RCT March 2019
- Need for Routine Vitamin D Screening in Military Personnel – Sept 2016
- US Army learning about benefits of vitamin D to trauma – Dec 2013 talking with Dr. Matthews
- Huge increase in Vitamin D supplementation in the US military (2005-13) – Oct 2016 - taking Vitamin D supplements
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.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 3.
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.