Why supplements make sense: Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of death – how to prevent it
It’s both bad news and good news: Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of death by 25 percent, as researchers analyzed data from Great Britain. However, they also showed that when vitamin D levels are increased, they decrease again slightly.
Hardly any vitamin performs as many important functions in the body as vitamin D. It builds strong muscles and bones, can protect against cancer or Alzheimer’s disease protect and are the basis of the immune system. On the other hand, a lack of vitamin D can harm the body and even increase the risk of death, according to a recent study.
Nutritionist Joshua P. Sutherland of the Australian Center for Precision Health in Adelaide and his team found a link between genetic levels of vitamin D and mortality. Causality was established at values below 50 nmol/l (nanomoles per liter), but not above.
- Participants with levels of 25 nmol/l had a significantly increased mortality of 25 percent compared with 50 nmol/l. This means that after the researchers adjusted for other variables, the risk of death was highest in people with vitamin D levels below 25 nmol/l.
- As the concentration increased to 50 nmol/l, the risk of death decreased dramatically.
- At levels between 75 and 125 nmol/l, there was no further reduction in mortality.
An association has been demonstrated for mortality during
- cardiovascular diseases and
- respiratory diseases.
How is vitamin D status determined?
Vitamin D status is determined by measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D for short, in blood serum. 25(OH)D is the precursor of active vitamin D and can be given in nmol/l or ng/ml units (convert nmol/l to ng/ml by dividing by 2.5). (Source: Robert Koch Institute)
Who studied the scientists?
The researchers obtained data from 307,601 people from the UK Biobank. This is the expected group of persons from 2006. March. until 2010 July in England, Scotland and Wales were recruited. Most were white European Origin and from 37 to 73 years old at the beginning of the study. The results were translated into “Annals of Internal Medicine” Released.
“Unlike other observational studies, we were able to avoid some methodological pitfalls. This new study is special in that we were able to look at people with very low levels of vitamin D and see what would happen if their levels were slightly higher,” corresponding author Elina Hyppӧnen told the specialist portal.Medscape“. Most studies so far have shown little to no effect on growth. But that’s because most people have adequate levels of vitamin D. For ethical reasons, anyone who does research on people with very low values can only do so if they are also being treated. In other words, if the deficiency is compensated together. This was the case in their study.
Anyone with vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L should increase their levels.
Why does it make sense to supplement food with vitamin D?
The data are consistent with previous analyses, as well as the recommended limit set by the US National Academy of Medicine and German Nutrition Society (DGE) as “desirable level (25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentration) of at least 50 nmol/l”. Only those who are truly deficient should take vitamin D as a dietary supplement. Then experts talk about vitamin D supplementation.
“All people with vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/l should increase their levels,” recommends Hyppönen. However, according to the results of their study, it does not seem necessary to reach very high values. “The good news is that the current official guideline values are sufficient. Therefore, there is no need to take high-dose supplements.
She added: “Supplements are really helpful when a person is not getting enough vitamin D through food, especially in the dark winter months.