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A significant amount of evidence has surfaced in recent years suggesting that vitamin D may play an important role in a number of areas of health. Now, the Endocrine Society is calling for new studies to corroborate this evidence and determine once and for all how important the nutrient is to overall health.
Findings from such studies could be used to justify the use of vitamin D blood testing and supplementation treatments.
The majority of studies that have linked vitamin D to health benefits have been observational. In this type of investigation, researchers look for associations between vitamin D and certain health benefits. However, these studies cannot prove that the nutrient caused the observed health effect.
The Endocrine Society is calling on researchers to conduct new clinical trials that compare the effects of vitamin D supplementation to those of a placebo. This is the only way to prove with any certainty the effects of vitamin D on human health.
"We need large randomized controlled trials and dose-response data to test the effects of vitamin D on chronic disease outcomes including autoimmunity, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease," said Clifford Rosen, who authored the society's statement.
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