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No benefit of vitamin D on cognition in older adults

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Key learning points

  • Observational studies have suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment.

  • A substudy of the D-Health trial found no difference in effect on cognitive function between vitamin D supplementation and placebo.

  • The results suggest that population-wide vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D replete older adults is unlikely to benefit cognitive function.

A substudy of the D-Health placebo-controlled trial found no beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation on cognitive function in older adults in the general population in Australia.1


The D-Health double-blind trial randomised 21 135 Australian participants aged between 60 and 84 years to take monthly oral doses of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) 60000 international units (IU) or placebo for up to 5 years.1 2 The primary outcome was all-cause mortality and secondary outcomes were total cancer incidence and colorectal cancer incidence. Cognitive …

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  • Contributors DTB Team.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.