Vitamin D deficiency spikes risk of premature death, says new research

12 June 2014, 8:07 pm EDT By Judy Mottl Tech Times
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Yet another study on vitamin D. This time researchers claim a low level of the vitamin may double the chances of premature death.   ( Colin Dunn )

No one vitamin has been in the news more than vitamin D, given a wave of research reports on its benefits, drawbacks, side effects and potential dangers.

This time researchers are claiming a low level of vitamin D in the blood could mean twice the risk of premature death compared with those with high levels of vitamin D.

The study involved data from 32 studies published between 1966 and 2013, reflecting a total of 566,583 participants from 14 countries, and was led by Cedric Garland, DrPH, from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Garland states that two-thirds of the U.S. population suffers from low vitamin D levels.

"Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine concluded that having a too-low blood level of vitamin D was hazardous," Garland said in a press statement. "This study supports that conclusion, but goes one step further. This new finding is based on the association of low vitamin D with risk of premature death from all causes, not just bone diseases. "

Study co-author Heath Hofflich, DO, of the UC San Diego School of Medicine, states 4,000 International Units of vitamin D per day is appropriate and safe. The researchers advise everyone to get their vitamin D level checked each year and also confer with their doctor regarding vitamin D dosage requirements.

Vitamin D helps keep normal bloods levels of calcium and phosphorus. Both elements can help keep bones strong and teeth healthy.

The vitamin has been the subject of countless studies regarding its impact on everything from cancer risks to infectious diseases.

As Tech Times reported earlier this year, a new study from New Zealand claims vitamin Doffers little in the way of health benefits.

The study, which was published in The Lancet medical journal, investigated whether vitamin D supplements enhance bone density. It studied nine previous trials and found that, "Vitamin D supplementation without co-administration of calcium have not shown fracture prevention, possibly because of insufficient power or inappropriate doses, or because the intervention was not targeted to deficient populations."

In the conclusion of the study, researchers state "Continuing widespread use of vitamin D for osteoporosis prevention in community-dwelling adults without specific risk factors for vitamin D deficiency seems to be inappropriate."

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