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Does taking vitamin D preventatively reduce my risk of dying over taking a placebo?
MedHead Confidence Score: 1
Amount Saved: $50 medical research cost
This Cochrane review looked at over 95,000 people, mainly older women. There were several problems with trying to pool together data to make a coherent story, but the bottom line is that, yes, there may be a slight decrease in death by taking vitamin D, at least in older women, over a placebo pill. You would need 150 people to take a vitamin D supplement over five years to prevent one death. I typically recommend 1000IU to 2000IU daily for postmenopausal women.
1. Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, Nikolova D, Whitfield K, Wetterslev J, Simonetti RG, Bjelakovic M, Gluud C. Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007470. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007470.pub3.