Vitamin D supplementation does not reduce pain or cartilage loss in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is the result of a two-year study at Boston's Tufts Medical Center, now published in JAMA. The double-blind study included 146 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis in the knee. Half of them received additional supplements of vitamin D, the other half a placebo. There were no significant differences between the two groups at any time during the study.
Timothy McAlindon, lead author of the study, points out that this is the first randomized clinical trial to analyze the effect of vitamin D on knee joint osteoarthritis: "The study is important because it clearly demonstrates that supplementation with the vitamin does not Effect shows. "Vitamin D is very popular as a dietary supplement and it would have many positive effects attributed - some of which may apply. "Osteoarthritis in the knee does not seem to be an indication that vitamin D helps," says McAlindon.
At the request of Medscape Germany, the researcher was quite surprised by the result: "So far, there was a whole series of observation data that had pointed to a large effect of the vitamin on knee joint arthrosis. We actually expected to see a therapeutic effect, "says McAlindon. This is absolutely not the case. In their study, the researchers had measured the pain of the subjects according to a set scale. The loss of cartilage was determined using magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, the knee function, bone marrow lesions and the width of the joint space were controlled.
The average age of the subjects in the study was 62 years, 61% of the participants were women. 85% of the participants completed the study. The target serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was in the verum group at a concentration of 36 to 100 ng / ml. The lower level was based on experience from previous studies where vitamin D appeared to have an effect.
Knee osteoarthritis is widespread in the population and increases with age. The joint wear has a considerable influence on the function of the knee. Due to sick leave, early retirement and necessary surgery, this type of osteoarthritis also causes high costs for social systems.