Meta-study: a high vitamin D level helps you live longer
People with high levels of vitamin D in their blood probably live longer than people with low amounts of vitamin D in their blood, according to an epidemiological meta-study published in BMJ. The compilers had access to data on 26,018 people aged between 50 and 79.
The researchers gathered their data from 8 previously published studies in which European and American epidemiologists had followed participants for 4 to 16 years. At the start of the studies the researchers measured the concentration of vitamin D – or to be more precise: 25-hydroxy-vitamin D – in the participants' blood.
During the studies 6,695 participants died – 2,624 from cardiovascular disease and 2,227 participants from cancer.
The participants with relatively little vitamin D – to be precise: 25-hydroxy-vitamin D – in their blood were 1.57 times more likely to die than the participants who had relatively high levels of vitamin D in their blood.
When the researchers analysed their data they discovered that the protective effect of a high level of vitamin D was greater in people who had already developed cardiovascular disease [first figure below] than in people who had no cardiovascular disease [second figure].
The researchers also noticed the same patter when they compared the cancer survivors with people who did not have cancer. A high level of vitamin D had a protective effect in the first group [first figure below] and not in the second [second figure below].
Large numbers of the population have less vitamin D in their blood than the amount doctors consider to be optimum. Thats why most western governments advise people who don't get outdoors much to take extra vitamin D. Read more about vitamin D supplementation here.
BMJ. 2014 Jun 17;348:g3656.
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