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Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
Date:5/1/2012

r 50 nmol/liter.

"Our results," de Boer said, "lend support to the threshold level recently recommended by the Institute of Medicine, a national, independent government advisory group."

He added, "This target level for adults is considerably lower than that set by other expert panels.'

His research team also found that the association of low 25(OH)D blood concentrations with risk of major disease events varied with the season. Because people soak up most of their Vitamin D from the sun, their levels run highest in the summer and lowest in the winter. Levels in autumn are generally above those in spring.

"In evaluating health risk," the researchers concluded, "Season-specific targets for 25(OH)D blood concentration may be more appropriate than a static target when evaluating patients health risk."

Future research in this area, de Boer said, will require clinical trials. Researcher will look, for example, at the health effects of attempts to raise 25(OH)D in patients whose levels fall below the target. Interventions might include supplements, dietary changes and increasing outdoor activity.

"Sun exposure is tricky," de Boer said, "because people have to protect themselves from skin cancer and other sun damage." Sunscreen blocks the UVB waves responsible for producing Vitamin D. Food sources for Vitamin D are milk, fortified juice and cereal and oily fish like salmon, mackerel, cod and herring.

Vitamin D provides many different beneficial effects on health because it is actually not a vitamin, but a prohormone. It can suppress the hormonal systems that cause fluid to be retained and blood pressure to go up, modulate the function of immune cells, and stop abnormal cells from overgrowing.


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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@uw.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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