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Vitamin D Could Help Critically Ill Patients Live Longer

Numerous studies have established the importance of vitamin D, but did you know that vitamin D deficiency may actually lower your chance of survival if you ever become critically ill?

That is the finding of researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel, whose study was published in the April 2012 issue of QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. Their study examined the association between vitamin D serum levels and the survival rate of critically ill patients.

Over the course of 6 months, the researchers conducted an observational study that ultimately included 130 patients over the age of 18. All were in the intensive care unit of the hospital and who required mechanical ventilation.

The researchers assigned the patients to two groups: those who had sufficient vitamin D serum levels (20 nanograms or more) and those who were deficient (less than 20 nanograms). Of the 130 participants, 107 were found to be vitamin D deficient.

The researchers observed that participants with sufficient vitamin D levels survived an average of 24.2 days while those who were deficient survived an average of 15.3 days, a difference of 8.9 days. The vitamin D sufficient participants also had higher disease-fighting white blood cell counts than the deficient group.

The researchers hope their study will lay the groundwork for future research into the link between vitamin D supplementation and recovery from illness.

Vitamin D has been associated with a vast range of health benefits, including kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Dietary 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 vitamin D 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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