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Low Vitamin D Shown to Raise Death Risk - Report. *Surprise Source Of Vitamin D

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:21pm
People with the lowest levels of the so-called sunshine vitamin had a 26 percent increased risk of death over eight years compared to those with the highest levels, the researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The report follows several recent studies that have shown vitamin D may protect against a host of ailments, including heart disease, cancers of the colon and breast, diabetes and tuberculosis.

Dr. Michal Melamed of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and colleagues studied 13,331 adults for an average of 8.7 years.

Of the 1,806 people who died, 777 died of heart disease, though there were too few to conclude a vitamin deficiency caused fatal heart problems. Vitamin D deficiency was also linked to a higher risk of death from cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

"The fact that all the deaths went up, but we could not find the specific cause, may be because vitamin D plays a role in both cancer and heart disease and potentially other things" like diabetes, Melamed said in a telephone interview.

Scientists have evidence that the vitamin helps lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.

Vitamin D deficiency is common: about one-quarter of American adults have less than the 18 nanograms per milliliter of blood that Melamed recommended as minimal. About two in five American men and half of women have less than the 28 nanograms per milliliter considered healthy.

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and it is also found in fatty fish like salmon. But many people do not get enough of it, especially in winter in higher latitudes when the sun's rays are less direct and people are inside or covered up.

The research team noted that heart problems are more likely to arise in winter when vitamin D levels tend to be lower. And cancer survival rates are higher when the disease is diagnosed in summer when vitamin D levels are higher.

But too-high levels of the vitamin were also found to be harmful, researchers said, though not as harmful as a deficiency.

Vitamin D is like everything else in the body: there has to be a ideal level. But what is the ideal level? Source:

We know too much sun exposure is not healthy and I will not use supplements because the ingredients could be synthetic. I don't drink enough milk so where can I get Vitamin D? Surprise Source of Vitamin D

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