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High Vitamin D Levels May Decrease Death Risk

A new long term study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that low levels of vitamin D may decrease the risk of death by 26 percent.

Researchers analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III) which provided them with the Vitamin D levels for over 13,000 healthy men and woman.

Based on previous results from this national survey researchers calculated that the optimum blood level of Vitamin D is 30 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) or higher. They found that 53 percent of American woman and 41 percent of American men have levels lower than 28 ng/ml, which is cause for concern.

Over the course of over 8 years the researchers at Johns Hopkins continued to follow the 13,000 participants in the study and documented 1,806 deaths. Of these, nearly 700 of the fatalities were associated with some form of heart disease and 400 of them were found to be deficient in Vitamin D.

Researchers then compared people with the lowest and highest levels of Vitamin D and found that low levels were associated with a 26 per cent higher rate of death from any cause.

Vitamin D is produced in the body upon exposure to sunlight but with 1.5 million Americans being diagnosed with sun cancer every year supplements could be a safer alternative than increasing sun exposure.
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