St George’s is recruiting dialysis patients for a trial into the benefits of taking Vitamin D

July 26 2017
The SIMPLIFIED trial is looking for volunteer dialysis patients at St George's Hospital. The project is looking in to the benefits of dialysis patients taking natural vitamin D.

Why do we need this trial?

People need vitamin D to stay healthy. Getting calcium from the diet into bones depends on vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels (vitamin D deficiency) leads to soft bones, fractures, weak muscles, heart and blood pressure problems, and may increase the risks of infections and cancer. People with kidney failure on dialysis often have low vitamin D levels for at least 3 reasons.

  1. When kidneys fail, the body is less efficient at making its own vitamin D.
  2. Foods rich in vitamin D are mostly restricted because of high phosphate or potassium.
  3. Patients are usually asked to avoid excessive sunlight or wear sunscreen to avoid skin problems such as cancer.

Natural vitamin D is not usually given to dialysis patients, because doctors used to believe that the body could not use natural vitamin D unless the kidneys were healthy (and for this reason, the packaging of these vitamin D products often advise that they should be not be taken by patients with kidney problems). It turns out that this is not the case: the body does use natural vitamin D even in people who have no kidneys. This is why we now need to test if natural vitamin D is better or worse than the artificial and active forms of vitamin D treatments we currently use.

Who are the team looking to volunteer

The trial will enroll 4,200 dialysis patients from across the United Kingdom. This trial is open to dialysis patients at St George's Hospital. Participation is subject to the usual health and trial criteria being met. SIMPLIFIED is led by a team of researchers from leading Universities, dialysis centres and the UK renal registry.


The SIMPLIFIED trial is funded by the National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Agency


If you are a St George's dialysis patient and are interested in participating or just want to know more please contact Dr Banerjee by email or ask your consultant.

You can also contact Dr Banerjee on 02087251673 or Rajeshwar Ramkhelawon on 02087250178 at St George’s Hospital.

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