Vitamin D

Low vitamin D raises risk of mortality by 30 percent in the elderly

Monday, August 20, 2012 by: John Phillip
Tags: vitamin D, deficiency, mortality

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(NaturalNews) Enlightened health followers have heard about the importance of taking vitamin D and maintaining optimal blood levels of the prohormone to prevent chronic disease for more than a decade now. Despite the countless research studies that all demonstrate the critical nature of vitamin D to prevent cancer, heart disease and many chronic illnesses, millions of Americans continue to suffer needlessly and die early because they have neglected to take an inexpensive supplement or check their vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.

The time has come to sound the alarm yet again. A research team from Oregon State University has found that among older adults, especially those who are frail, low levels of vitamin D can lead to a much greater risk of death. The study considered individuals from a nationally representative group and determined that adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30 9percent greater risk of death than people who had higher levels.

Vitamin D supplementation in the frail and elderly is shown to slash risk of death

The lead study author, Dr. Ellen Smit commented "What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults and especially among people who are frail... older adults need to be screened for vitamin D." She and her team noted that people who were frail had more than double the risk of death than those who were not frail. Frail adults with low levels of vitamin D tripled their risk of death over people who were not frail and who had higher levels of vitamin D.

Publishing their work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study team examined more than 4,300 adults older than 60 using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Due to the cross-sectional nature of the analysis, researchers could not determine if low vitamin D contributed to frailty, or whether frail people became vitamin D deficient because of confounding health problems. The authors concluded it may not matter, as suboptimal levels place all individuals at considerably greater risk of death from all causes.

Dr. Smit concluded "As you age, there is an increased risk of melanoma, but older adults should try and get more activity in the sunshine... our study suggests that there is an opportunity for intervention with those who are in the pre-frail group, but could live longer, more independent lives if they get proper nutrition and exercise." This study underscores the critical importance of checking vitamin D blood saturation (50 to 70 ng/mL using the 25(OH)D test) and supplementing as necessary (5,000 to 7,000 IU per day for most adults) to dramatically lower mortality in the elderly population.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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