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The "Sunshine Vitamin" Could Help You Live Longer

A recent long-reaching study suggests that low levels of vitamin D could contribute to cardiovascular disease and increase the risk of all-cause mortality in mature adults. The Kansas University based researchers published their finding on February 1, 2012, in the American Journal of Cardiology.

The study included 10,899 participants, 71% of whom were women. The participants had an average age of 58.

For 5 years and 8 months, the researchers tested vitamin D serum levels at regular intervals. They determined that greater than 30 ng/mL would be considered “normal” levels of vitamin D, while less than 30 ng/mL was considered “deficient.” The mean level of the participants was 24ng/mL.

They found that only slightly less than 30% of the participants had sufficient levels of vitamin D. The 70% that were deficient were at noticeably higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. They were also 164% more at risk of all-cause mortality.

Consumption of vitamin D has been linked in previous studies to improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improved age related eye degeneration.

Many foods are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is a viable option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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