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Vitamin D Could Reduce Global All-Cause Mortality Rates by 15%

Vitamin D has been linked with the prevention of a number of chronic diseases. Now a study from the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center in San Francisco suggests that vitamin D may help reduce global mortality rates by lowering the risk of such diseases.

These diseases account for over half of the global mortality rate and include cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, and diabetes mellitus.

The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July, 2011.

The researchers interpreted data from various studies examining the effects of vitamin D and UVB light on individuals in 6 geopolitical regions. They wanted to see how 25-hydroxoy vitamin D (25(OH)D) serum levels corresponded with vitamin D sensitive diseases.

The researchers found that increasing 25(OH)D serum levels from 21.6 to 44 ng/ml would reduce the vitamin D-sensitive disease mortality rate by approximately 15%. Specifically, African female mortality would be reduced 7.6% and European female mortality would be reduced 17.3%.

Male mortality rate was on average 0.6% lower than female mortality rate. All six regions showed a 2 year increased life expectancy.

Vitamin D has been linked to a wide variety of health benefits, including 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 those of us living in the northern parts of the world usually need more vitamin D than we are able to get from sunshine alone. 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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