Lancet: Trial of Vitamin D Supplements to Prevent Fractures in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:


Dr. Davaasambuu

Dr Ganmaa Davaasambuu MD PhD
Associate Professor
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The crucial role of vitamin D in facilitating calcium absorption from the diet and promoting calcium deposition in bones (known as ‘mineralization’) has been a long-established understanding. Furthermore, some observational studies have reported an association between low vitamin D levels and a heightened risk of bone fractures in children. This raised the possibility that vitamin D supplements could potentially play a role in decreasing fracture risk in children with initially low baseline levels. However, clinical trials assessing the causal link between low vitamin D status and reduced fracture risk were necessary, and such trials had not been conducted before.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We showed that weekly vitamin D supplementation for three years was effective in boosting vitamin D levels in D-deficient school age children, but it did not reduce their fracture risk or improve bone strength  as measured with an ultrasound scan.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  Many of our study participants had insufficient calcium intake, which may clarify why providing additional vitamin D alone did not result in a decrease in their risk of fractures. In the case of older adults, the efficacy of vitamin D in reducing fracture risk is maximized when coupled with concurrent calcium supplementation.

For future research, it would be valuable to investigate whether administering calcium supplements in conjunction with vitamin D could yield potential advantages.

Disclosures:This research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI) 1R01HL122624-01. I would like to thank the sponsors and our hard-working staff at Mongolian Health Initiative (MHI).

Citation: Davaasambuu Ganmaa, Polyna Khudyakov, Uyanga Buyanjargal, Enkhtsetseg Tserenkhuu, Sumiya Erdenenbaatar, Chuluun-Erdene Achtai, Narankhuu Yansanjav, Baigal Delgererekh, Munkhzaya Ankhbat, Enkhjargal Tsendjav, Batbayar Ochirbat, Badamtsetseg Jargalsaikhan, Davaasambuu Enkhmaa, Adrian R Martineau. Vitamin D supplements for fracture prevention in schoolchildren in Mongolia: analysis of secondary outcomes from a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2023;
DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(23)00317-0


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Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Marie Benz MD FAAD