Navigation Links
Lack of Vitamin D Boosts Death Risk

Many people aren't getting enough of the sunlight-sourced nutrient, researchers say,,,,

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Inadequate vitamin D could increase your risk of death by 26 percent, a new study concludes.

Yet many people are not getting enough vitamin D, which the skin makes naturally when exposed to sunlight. A nationwide survey found that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women in the United States were not getting enough of this vital nutrient.

"The importance of vitamin D may be underappreciated," said lead author Dr. Michal Melamed, a clinical fellow at Johns Hopkins University. "There are studies that link low vitamin D levels to the development of heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, hypertension and different cancers," she said.

The report was published in the Aug. 11 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Melamed's team collected data on more than 13,000 men and women who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Levels of vitamin D were collected in 1988 and 1994, and the participants were followed through 2000.

During more than eight and a half years of follow-up, 1,806 people died. Among these, 777 died from cardiovascular disease. Four hundred of these people were found to be deficient in their vitamin D levels.

"Those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 26 percent higher risk of death from all causes compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels," Melamed noted.

The findings in this study confirm a trend seen in other studies linking vitamin D deficiency to increased risk for breast cancer and depression in the elderly, the researchers noted. Melamed's group had previously shown that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of peripheral artery disease (circulatory problems in the legs) by 80 percent.

Among other things, vitamin D is essential for maintaining levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. "Vitamin D may be very important for overall health," Melamed said.

According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, people should get between 200 and 400 international units of vitamin D a day. The best way to get vitamin D, naturally, is by being out in the sun.

As little as 10 to 15 minutes of sun a day can give you all a vitamin D you need. Vitamin D is also available in small quantities in foods such as fish and milk.

Whether vitamin D supplements are effective isn't yet known, Melamed said. "That's the million-dollar question," she said.

"I think people should optimize their diet and sun exposure to get an adequate level of vitamin D without taking supplements," Melamed said. "It may be a good idea for people who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, including African Americans and people who don't spend a lot of time in the sun, to get their vitamin D levels checked by their doctor."

Dr. Michael F. Holick, director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, advocates high levels of vitamin D supplements to maintain good health. Vitamin D deficiency is probably the most common medical problem worldwide, Holick said.

"We know that being vitamin D sufficient reduces the risk of having your first heart attack by more than 50 percent, reduces the risk of having peripheral vascular disease by as much is 80 percent and decreases the risk of prostate, colon, breast and a whole host of other cancers by as much is 50 to 70 percent," Holick said.

In addition, not getting enough vitamin D also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, Holick noted. By increasing your vitamin D intake to 800 international units a day reduces the risk of developing diabetes by as much as a third, he said.

Holick recommends taking high doses of vitamin D supplements, as well as sun exposure. In addition, Holick recommends taking as much as 1,400 international units of a vitamin D supplement every day.

More information

For more about vitamin D, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Michal Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., clinical fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., director, Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University; Aug. 11, 2008, online edition, Archives of Internal Medicine

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study shines more light on benefit of vitamin D in fighting cancer
2. Vitamin Es lack of heart benefit linked to dosage
3. Fat transforms vitamin C from good cop into bad cop
4. Vitamin C Plus Fat Might Spur Cancer
5. How vitamin C stops the big C
6. Vitamin D Supplements May Lengthen Life
7. Joint Juice Launches New Ready-to-Drink Glucosamine & Vitamin-Enhanced Dietary Supplement Water Nationwide
8. Vitamin Relief Brings Needed Nutrition to School District Resurrecting After Katrina
9. Excessive Multivitamin Use May Raise Risk for Prostate Cancer, from Harvard Mens Health Watch
10. As Winter Approaches, Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency Increases
11. Vitamin D Wont Help Prevent Most Cancers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Lack of Vitamin D Boosts Death Risk
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer ... through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading ... a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated his ... implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure is ... to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to help ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex ... as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and ... a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: