Recent research has shown that lower blood levels of vitamin D increase the risk of dying early.
Researchers systematically reviewed 32 studies, conducted between 1966 and 2013, that had investigated blood levels of vitamin D and human mortality rates.
In total there were data from more than half a million participants, residing in 14 different countries (including the United States).
The average age of the participants when they gave blood for the analysis of vitamin D levels was 55 years and they were followed for an average of 9 years.
The analysis showed that the risk of dying prematurely was twice as high among people with blood levels of vitamin D <30 ng/ml than among people with higher blood levels of vitamin D. It is estimated that around two-thirds of the US population has an blood vitamin D level below 30 ng/ml.
The lead author of the paper, Professor Garland explained:
Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine concluded that having a too-low blood level of vitamin D was hazardous. This study supports that conclusion, but goes one step further... This new finding is based on the association of low vitamin D with risk of premature death from all causes, not just bone diseases.
Professor Hofflich, UC San Diego School of Medicine, advised “However, it’s always wise to consult your physician when changing your intake of vitamin D and to have your blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D checked annually. Daily intakes above 4,000 IU per day may be appropriate for some patients under medical supervision.”