Appropriate levels of Vitamin D may help protect people from pre-mature death, particularly from cancer and heart disease, suggests a new analysis of a research study.
But, further research has to be carried out in this field for a definite conclusive statement.
A lead study author, Ben Schoettker who is a post-doctoral scientist with the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany expressed that people with low levels of Vitamin D die more frequently from heart disease and cancer, but it is not recognized if the low vitamin D level is the sole cause of these diseases or just a consequence of generally poor health.
The research was published online on 17th June in BMJ Journal suggested at the possibility that Vitamin D may benefit people across genders, ages and Western countries, including the United States. The findings are “compellingly consistent,” Schoettker said.
Vitamin D is a hot favorite topic in the medical world as studies have both maintained and deflated its hypothetical influences to advocate boosting and enhancing lifespans. Researchers are looking forward to future studies that they expect to be more definitive.
Vitamin D is nicknamed ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ because our body produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. People also get vitamin D through foods like eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice.
The current analysis solely scrutinized what happened to people with various levels of vitamin D in their bodies. The studies included in this analysis didn’t go a step further to randomly assign participants to take vitamin D supplements or an inactive placebo. That kind of study would cost much more, Schoettker said.
The researchers examined eight case studies from Europe and the United States that together examined and kept a tracked more than 26,000 non-smoking men and women. These all participants were aged between 50 and 79. About 6,700 participants died during the time period of the studies, mostly of heart disease or cancer.
Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were about 1.5 times more likely to die from any cause and from heart disease during the periods of the studies than those with the highest levels.
Those with lower levels of vitamin D and a history of cancer were 1.7 times more likely to die of the diseases. People who hadn’t previously had cancer saw no change in the risk of cancer death by vitamin D levels.
It was noted by Schoettker that meagre levels of Vitamin D were also associated strongly with less physical activities, less exposure to the Sun and increasing age.
The researchers also pointed out that vitamin D may not help alter the levels of risk for health problems and earlier deaths. It’s possible that levels of vitamin D reflect overall health. Low levels of vitamin D may just be a sign of poor health rather than a cause of it, according to the study.
It’s ambiguous how vitamin D could help people live longer, but it might have something to do with the way it acts like a hormone, said Susan Mayne, chair of the department of chronic disease epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health. Still, she said, the science linking the vitamin to heart disease and cancer is in its initial stages.
Till now, both Mayne and Schoettker said people should follow the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine regarding vitamin D. Its 2010 report says most Americans and Canadians already get enough vitamin D. However, it says nothing about whether people with heart disease or cancer should take supplements.
Several studies, but not all, have exhibited that low bone density is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the elderly and is associated with osteoporosis/ low bone density.
Vitamin D supplementation improves bone strength and elevated serum vitamin D levels may be associated with lower levels of vascular calcification leading to decreased risk of Cardio vascular Disease.
Looking the above research done in the field of Vitamin D linking with ameliorating the disease condition and improving health, it can be said that Vitamin D helps to restore good health in a longer run. But, still, further more research needs to be done in this field for definite conclusive statements.