Will Vitamin D Help Your Knee Arthritis?
Vitamin D has been all the rage lately in health circles. Should you be taking Vitamin D for arthritis? Will it help your knee Arthritis? Some studies have shown a variety of maladies in patients with low Vitamin D levels due to lack of sunlight exposure. As a result, Vitamin D3 has been heralded as a possible wonder drug, with the concept being if too little is associated with medical problems, just give patients more to solve the problems. I have blogged on one recent study that seemed to show that low Vitamin D levels weren’t associated with arthritis. This is despite other studies showing this association and still others studies suggesting that taking Vitamin D helped arthritis (mostly in older patients). A new study out this week has weighed in on the controversy. This was a very well designed randomized controlled trial that measured Vitamin D levels so that they were titrated above a certain point. The results? The study didn’t find any improvement in pain or function in patients taking Vitamin D. In addition, it failed to find any less loss of cartilage on follow-up images for those taking Vitamin D. So should you take Vitamin D for arthritis? There are studies on both sides of this fence. My guess is that we’re seeing the same thing here that we see with many supplement studies. Some patients respond better than others and these variations are likely due to genetics/age/disease. As a result, the traditional randomized controlled trial is unlikely to find significant differences between large groups. On the other hand, there may be some patients that respond better. This controversy likely won’t get solved until we get to personalized medicine studies where individual differences between patients are better measured.