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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Higher Risk of Hospital Infection

Infections acquired in hospitals are common and can sometimes be more detrimental than the original illness. A recent study found that people with low vitamin D levels were three times as likely to develop an infection in the hospital after having gastric bypass surgery than those who had vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL or higher.

Participants in the study included 770 obese gastric bypass surgery patients, 58% of whom had low vitamin D levels.

After adjusting for a wide range of demographic and lifestyle factors as well as particular aspects of the surgeries, the researchers found that the individuals with low vitamin D levels were four times as likely to develop an infection at the surgical site and three times as likely to get a hospital-acquired infection.

The only difference between the individuals who developed infections and those who did not was their vitamin D levels.

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital conducted the study. It was published on November 27, 2013, in JAMA Surgery.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with reductions in the risk of skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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