A thorough review of vitamin D research published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at 32 studies (which included 566,583 participants from 14 different countries) about the relationship between vitamin D blood levels and various types of death. The studies were published from 1966 through 2013, and the analysis of this research found people with low vitamin D levels were almost 2 times as likely to die early when compared to people who had high levels of vitamin D in their blood.
The research review, led by Cedric Garland from the University of California, San Diego, showed people who had the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood were 90% more likely to die prematurely from some cause than those who had the highest concentrations of vitamin D in their blood. The research also found people with vitamin D concentrations of 30 ng/mL or less had an increase risk of dying early. To put that into perspective, Dr. Garland notes approximately 66% of the US population have vitamin D levels lower than this 30 ng/mL amount.
The findings make it important to discuss vitamin D levels with your doctor. It makes sense to get your vitamin D level tested at least once a year. For those who have low levels of vitamin D, talking to your doctor about taking appropriate vitamin supplements to increase vitamin D levels is also essential.
(Photo courtesy of Bradley Stemke)