Vitamin D Supplements Did Not Slow Knee Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Changhai Ding, MBBS, MMED, MD Australian Research Council Future Fellow Associate Director (International), Menzies Institute for Medical Research Professor, University of Tasmania, Australia Honorary Professor, University of Sydney, Australia

Dr. Changhai Ding

Changhai Ding, MBBS, MMED, MD
Australian Research Council Future Fellow
Associate Director (International), Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Professor,  University of Tasmania, Australia
Honorary Professor, University of Sydney, Australia

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

Dr. Ding: Vitamin D can reduce bone turnover and cartilage degradation, thus potentially preventing the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis. Observational studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation is associated with benefits for knee osteoarthritis, but current evidence from clinical trials is contradictory.

We  conducted a randomised clinical trial in Hobart, Tasmania and Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. We randomly assigned 413 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and low 25-hydroxyvitamin D to receive monthly treatment with oral vitamin D3 (50,000 IU; n = 209) or an identical placebo (n = 204) for 2 years.

Of 413 enrolled participants (average age, 63 years; 50 percent women), 340 (82 percent) completed the study. Vitamin D supplementation significantly increased blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels over 2 years compared with placebo treatment; however, vitamin D supplementation, compared with placebo, did not result in significant differences in change in MRI-measured tibial cartilage volume or a measure of knee pain over 2 years. There were also no significant differences in change of tibiofemoral cartilage defects or change in tibiofemoral bone marrow lesions.

Post-hoc analyses indicated that vitamin D supplementation might improve knee physical function and reduce another measure of knee pain and increases in bone marrow lesion.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Ding: These data suggest a lack of evidence to support vitamin D supplementation for slowing knee cartilage loss in knee osteoarthritis.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ding: Although vitamin D supplementation has no significant effect on knee cartilage loss in knee osteoarthritis,  post-hoc analyses suggest it may have a modest effect on bone marrow lesions. Therefore further studies using outcome measures such as bone marrow lesions and joint effusion synovitis are required to test effects of vitamin D supplementation.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: 

Changhai Ding, M.D., Ph.D et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Tibial Cartilage Volume and Knee Pain Among Patients With Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, March 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.1961

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

Dr. Chang-Hai Ding (2016). Vitamin D Supplements Did Not Slow Knee Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis MedicalResearch.com

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