(HealthDay News) — Vitamin D supplements do not appear to relieve pain or slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis in patients with low levels of the vitamin, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Changhai Ding, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, and colleagues randomly assigned 413 patients with knee osteoarthritis and low vitamin D levels to monthly treatment with either 50 000 IU of vitamin D a month or a placebo.

Over 2 years of follow-up, the investigators did not see any difference between the groups in reduced pain, change in tibiofemoral cartilage defects, or change in tibiofemoral bone marrow lesions.

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“These data suggest a lack of evidence to support vitamin D supplementation for slowing disease progression or structural change in knee osteoarthritis,” Dr Ding told HealthDay.


  1. Jin X, Jones G, Cicuttini F, et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Tibial Cartilage Volume and Knee Pain Among Patients With Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016;315(10):1005-1013. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1961.