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Vitamin D, calcium found to save lives among elderly

Saturday, September 22, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: vitamin D, calcium, elderly

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(NaturalNews) A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) has found that elderly individuals who supplement with both vitamin D and calcium together may have a decreased risk of early mortality. Based on data compiled from eight different randomized controlled trials, researchers found that seniors who supplement with both vitamin D and calcium are about seven percent less likely to die early compared to others.

Dr. Lars Rejnmark, M.D., from Aarhus University in Denmark and his colleagues examined the results of pooled data on more than 70,000 randomized participants with a median age of 70 that participated in vitamin D studies. Some of these participants were instructed to take only vitamin D, while others were instructed to take both vitamin D and calcium. After processing this wealth of data using a stratified Cox regression model, the team discovered that vitamin D can play a powerful role in reducing mortality and increasing life expectancy.

Interestingly, the overall decrease in mortality observed from taking vitamin D with calcium was not the result of vitamin D individuals experiencing fewer fractures, which has been the case in previous studies. There appears to be some other mechanism at play in how the body metabolizes vitamin D alongside calcium that provides other life-extending health benefits.

"This is the largest study ever performed on effects of calcium and vitamin D on mortality," said Rejnmark. "Some studies have suggested calcium (with or without vitamin D) supplements can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. Although our study does not rule out such effects, we found that calcium with vitamin D supplementation to elderly patients is overall not harmful to survival, and may have beneficial effects on general health."

To gain the most benefits from vitamin D, it is important to also supplement with its various synergistic co-factors, which include magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc, and boron. According to the Vitamin D Council, these co-factors are absolutely vital for achieving maximum results from vitamin D, including optimal biosynthesis of this life-giving nutrient. (http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-cofactors/)

"Magnesium has been found to influence the body's utilization of vitamin D in the following ways: Magnesium activates cellular enzymatic activity," says the Vitamin D Council, which emphasizes magnesium as the most important vitamin D co-factor, even though it was not included in the Aarhus study. "Low magnesium has been shown to alter, by way of decreasing, production of vitamin D's active form, 1,25(OH)2D (calcitriol)."

To learn more about the many health benefits afforded by regular sunlight exposure or vitamin D supplementation, visit: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

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