Vitamin D Supplementation in Military Personnel: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Context: Vitamin D supplementation is important in military research because of its role in musculoskeletal health. Objective: This systematic review examined the effects of vitamin D supplementation on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and musculoskeletal health outcomes in military personnel. Data Sources: A comprehensive search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SportDiscus, and the Cochrane Library databases and the reference lists of existing review articles and relevant studies. Study Selection: Reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts, and full texts of the articles using predefined criteria. Study Design: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Level of Evidence: Level 3. Data Extraction: Three reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the methodological quality. Mean differences with 95% CI in serum 25(OH)D concentrations between the vitamin D and placebo arms were calculated. Results: Four RCTs were included in the qualitative analyses. The 25(OH)D concentrations were improved with 2000 IU/d supplementation (mean difference, 3.90 ng/mL; 95% CI, 0.22-7.58). A trial on female Navy recruits showed a significant decrease in stress fractures (risk ratio, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62-0.95), particularly tibial fractures, from daily supplementation of 800 IU vitamin D and 2000 mg calcium. Conclusion: There was a positive trend in 25(OH)D concentrations from higher doses of supplementary vitamin D in military submariners and a possible benefit to bone health when vitamin D was combined with calcium.

publication date

  • September 2019