It is well known that Vitamin D deficiency is very common, due to a lack of exposure to sunlight and an insufficient consumption of Vitamin D in the diet. Whilst this is well known, the effects of Vitamin D deficiency are not as well known, with a number of conflicting results from existing research projects looking into the effects and results.
Recently the British Medical Journal published a meta-analysis which looked at the effects of Vitamin D concentrations in 50-75 year old people and all-cause mortality (total deaths). The meta-analysis took results from a range of cohort studies across Europe and the United States. The study looked at fluctuations in Vitamin D concentration across age, sex, season and country specific differences.
Results indicated that low Vitamin D concentrations can lead to an increased risk of mortality across all conditions. The results when looking at cardiovascular mortality (death from cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular complications etc.) and cancer mortality more closely were also interesting.
Cardiovascular mortality seemed to follow a similar trend to all-cause mortality where low concentrations of Vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of mortality. Cancer mortality followed a different trend; low concentrations of Vitamin D only seemed to increase risk of mortality in those with a history of cancer.
Whilst these results go a long way to highlight the benefits of ensuring you get adequate Vitamin D, it does not explain the mechanism for the results and how Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular mortality.
Results showed that Vitamin D may have a more significant effect on cardiovascular mortality which may indicate that the mechanism for decreased risk of mortality may lie within the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless Vitamin D has been associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. This is a significant finding. Therefore it’s important to ensure that you are not deficient in Vitamin D.
We would suggest ensuring that you are getting adequate Vitamin D from both sunlight and your diet. If you struggle to obtain sufficient amounts of Vitamin D, why not take a look at our Vitamin D3 5000iu tablets.
Ben Schöttker et al 2014, Vitamin D and mortality: meta-analysis of individual participant data from a large consortium of cohort studies from Europe and the United States, BMJ, 2014;348:g3656 – http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3656