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Vitamin D May Reduce Mortality Risk

Need another reason to make sure your getting enough vitamin D? New research from Europe has shown that deficiencies in vitamin D can double your risk of death from any illness.

Scientists at the University of Graz in Austria studied 3,258 people in Southwest Germany for almost 8 years. Study participants with an average age of 62, many with heart disease, had weekly blood tests to determine vitamin D levels. Researchers divided the participants into 4 equal groups according to their vitamin-D levels.

Over the 8 year period, 737 of the 3,258 participants had died, including 463 from heart-related problems. The group with the highest levels of vitamin D had 103 deaths compared to 307 deaths in the group with the lowest levels. After accounting for age, physical activity and other factors, the researchers determined that death from all causes were approximately twice as likely in the group with the lowest levels of vitamin D.

Study results are published in the June 2008 edition of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sun exposure is the most common source of vitamin D, but it can also be found in fortified milk and fatty fish. Because sun exposure carries a risk of skin damage, you should seek to increase your levels of vitamin D through diet and supplementation.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine
2008;168(12):1340-1349.
Independent Association of Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Levels With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality
Harald Dobnig, MD; Stefan Pilz, MD; Hubert Scharnagl, PhD; Wilfried Renner, PhD; Ursula Seelhorst, MA; Britta Wellnitz, LLD; Jargen Kinkeldei, DEng; Bernhard O. Boehm, MD; Gisela Weihrauch, MSc; Winfried Maerz, MD
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