Researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia randomly assigned 413 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and low 25-hydroxyvitamin D to receive monthly treatment with oral vitamin D3 or an identical placebo for 2 years.
    
Out of the 413 enrolled participants (average age 63 years; 50 per cent women), 340 (82 per cent) completed the study. Researchers found that vitamin D supplementation, compared with placebo, did not result in significant differences in change in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
(MRI)-measured tibial cartilage volume or a measure of knee pain over 2 years.

There were also no significant differences in change of tibiofemoral cartilage defects or change in tibiofemoral bone marrow lesions. Vitamin D levels did increase more in the vitamin D group than in the placebo group over 2 years."These data suggest a lack of evidence to support vitamin
D supplementation for slowing disease progression or structural change in knee osteoarthritis," researchers said.
    
Symptomatic knee osteoarthritis occurs among 10 percent of men and 13 per cent of women age 60 years or older. Currently there are no disease-modifying therapies for osteoarthritis, researchers said.

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