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Vitamin D Linked to a Number of Health Benefits

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and it also plays a role in the nerve, muscle and immune systems. A recent study suggests that increasing your levels of vitamin D may lower risks of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and fracture.

Participants in the study included 14,641 men and women between the ages of 42 and 82 who live in Norfolk, England. Serum D concentrations were measured at the beginning of the study. Participants were categorized into 5 groups according to their baseline serum vitamin D concentrations. The participants were then followed for 13 years.

After accounting for age, gender, smoking, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors, the researchers found that every 20 nmol/L increase in blood levels of vitamin D was associated with an 8% reduced risk in total mortality. The lowest risks were seen in participants with concentrations greater than 90 nmol/L.

Additionally, when the researchers looked at specific afflictions, they found that for every 20 nmol/L increase in blood levels of vitamin D, the risk of cardiovascular disease decreased by 4%, respiratory disease by 11%, and fractures by 11%.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge conducted the study. It was published on September 17, 2014, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, 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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