A new study has discovered that many healthy people took unsafe levels of vitamin D as a result of a myth during the Covid pandemic.
The research, which was ordered by Athena Pharmaceuticals, found that Irish people who are taking excessive amounts of vitamin D supplements are putting their bones at risk.
1,000 people took part in the study, the questions for which were designed by Dr Miriam Delaney, a specialist in osteoporosis, metabolic bone disorders and calcium metabolism at the Galway Clinic.
The data uncovered that 35% of over-40s, men and women, now have a potential risk of osteoporosis, after suffering a broken bone from a simple fall.
The study also discovered that 22% of adults have broken or fractured a bone since they turned 40 years of age. Among these, 35% reported that it was a fragility fracture, meaning that the bone was already weak before the incident occurred.
Dr Delaney explained that this high figure amongst a younger age group is a concerning one. “We would expect it to be higher in the older age-groups. It would be worrying, and it is interesting because it is not what we expect.”
Dr Delaney then shared that the research uncovered that Covid myths surrounding vitamin D are still having an impact on people’s health.
“There was this question of 3,000 units of vitamin D helping prevent people getting Covid, which wasn’t shown to be true,” she insisted. “We have a lot of patients still taking in excess of 3,000 units a day, and they have toxic levels of vitamin D when you check it.”
Experts say that a healthy level of Vitamin D is above 50 in the metric used for measurement. However, Dr Delaney admitted that many are seeing figures higher than that.
“We are seeing people coming with levels of 180 or 200,” she shared. “If you have a very high vitamin D level, and you are taking lots of calcium, you can become hypercalcemic, so your bloods can become abnormal.”
Although the statistics are worrying, Dr Delaney confirmed that the study's findings have been educational.