Theses Doctoral

Daily Vitamin D3 Supplementation as a Treatment for Health Disparities

Weishaar, Tom

There is discordance in the vitamin D literature between correlational studies, which show an association between higher vitamin D exposure and good health, and randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation, which are inconclusive. I test the theory that this discordance is due to false assumptions about how vitamin D affects human health. I use the method of systematic review and meta-analysis—accepting only experimental studies that supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, D3, not D2 or vitamin D metabolites or analogues, as well as accepting only studies with daily rather than less-frequent but larger doses—to show that daily vitamin D3 supplementation has a statistically-significant beneficial effect on blood pressure and markers of diabetes. Using nationally-representative correlational data, I also demonstrate that the health disparities in blood pressure, if not diabetes, will be eliminated only with new health policies dedicated to health education on the vast nutritional difference in vitamin D status between black and white Americans. As a part of this dissertation, I also developed an online multi-user web application to facilitate systematic reviews and meta-analyses.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Rajan, Sonali
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019