This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Vitamin D and other supplements: the latest findings

Written by: | Published:

supplements can support health against diseases Vitamin D supplements can support health against a host of different diseases, if used correctly

Rickets was the archetypal scourge of Victorian slums. But even in the 1930s, some 80% of children in London and Durham still showed rickets1. We now know why: a lack of vitamin D.

In 1919, Kurt Huldschinsky, a Berlin paediatrician, cured advanced rickets using artificial ultraviolet (UV) light. He then exposed one arm of a child with rickets to UV. X-rays showed that bone health improved in both arms. He concluded that skin irradiation released a chemical – now called vitamin D - into the blood2. Recent studies show that some supplements, such as vitamin D, support health across a growing range of diseases – but also warn that some may be harmful

Diverse actions

Vitamin D, for example, does more than ‘just’ ensuring bone health. Studies link vitamin D deficiency with, for example, hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidaemia. A recent Brazilian study, for example, enrolled 137 people aged at least 60 years who attended an out-patient cardiology clinic. Of these, 65% were deficient in vitamin D – defined as blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels less than 30 ng/mL. The risk of heart failure was about 12 times (odds ratio [OR] 12.19) greater in vitamin D deficient people than controls. Indeed, the risk associated with vitamin D deficiency was greater than that associated with obesity (OR 4.17) or cardiac arrhythmia (OR 3.69)3.

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.