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No significant benefit from vitamin D in knee osteoarthritis

By News team

Vitamin D does not reduce pain or cartilage loss in patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in JAMA (2013; 309:155).

Patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (n=146) were randomised to receive either placebo or 2,000IU/day oral colecalciferol for two years. The dose was stepped up to elevate serum levels to more than 36ng/ml.

Knee pain severity and cartilage volume loss, measured by magnetic resonance imaging, were the primary outcomes. No significant difference in these outcomes was found between the placebo group and the colecalciferol group. This was also the case for secondary outcomes, such as physical function and bone marrow lesions.

The authors note that additional results from epidemiologic studies that emerged during the course of their study have been mixed, demonstrating positive and negative associations.

"Together with the results of this clinical trial, the overall data suggest that vitamin D supplementation at a dose sufficient to elevate 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to more than 36ng/ml does not have major effects on clinical or structural outcomes in knee OA, at least in a US sample," they conclude.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11114934

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Supplementary images

  • Knee x-ray (Tallik/

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