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D Is For Death

Yet Another Study Links D Deficiency to Death

Vitamin D: It's a matter of life and death--literally.

Ever wonder what the ‘D’ in vitamin D stands for?  I think I know—death.

A ton of studies have come out lately regarding vitamin D’s importance to our healthy lives, but there’s been a particular emphasis on how a deficiency in it can increase our risk for death.

I’ve written about many of these, like this one, where Utah researchers found that people “very low” in vitamin D were 45 percent more likely to die from coronary heart disease.  Or this one, where vitamin D-deficient elderly were three times more likely to die prematurely.

And who can forget this one, where researchers from the American Heart Institute found a linkage between people with low levels of vitamin D and the world’s leading killer—heart disease.

Well the most recent news on vitamin D is every bit as macabre as the aforementioned studies.  Because according to a study that’s set to be published in the online edition of the journal Annals of Family Medicine, black Americans are at the most risk for stroke-related deaths if their deficient in vitamin D.  More at risk than any other race.

Hearkening on the prevalence of studies linking vitamin D deficiency to death, researchers from the University of Rochester wanted to see if this rule applied to all cardiac-related deaths.  So with the help of the National heart Lung and Blood Institute, not to mention the 15,000 men and women they had health information on, they found that, indeed, vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart and stroke-related deaths by as much as 40 percent (for those who had the rock-bottom lowest vitamin D levels).

But the risk was even greater for African Americans.  When researchers honed their statistics to how race influenced risk, they found that the largest risk was among blacks (38 percent more).

The researchers assessed “risk” by taking into account various symptoms that are symptomatic of cardiac-related deaths, like body mass index, smoking and levels of C-reactive protein.  Of course they also factored into the equation those that had already died of heart-related deaths and what their vitamin D levels were prior to their dying.

Again, the study’s full details will appear on the journal’s web site, January the 11th.

If you haven’t realized how important vitamin D is to your life by now, then you never will.  Vitamin D is absolutely crucial to bone and cell growth, not to mention the body’s ability to absorb and put calcium to use.

If you’re worried about your vitamin D levels—or simply curious about how high or low they may be—a simple blood test will take care of that.  A vitamin D measurement of less than 20 nanograms per millimeter of blood is considered deficient.

Surprisingly, there are very few food sources that contain vitamin D naturally.  It’s frequently added to foods (i.e. fortified).  They are out there, though, and they include salmon, mackerel, tuna, and liver.

You can also get it through vitamin D supplements and cod liver oil.

Or you could go to the most natural of sources there is for vitamin D—the sun.  Ten to 20 minutes of sun exposure will give you your daily D fill.

Sources:
sciencedaily.com
dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov

Related Posts

  1. Heart Disease Death Risk Lowered by One-Third Through Vitamin D, Study Says
  2. Could Heart Medications Have Contributed To Tim Russert’s Death?
  3. Good Health & the Sunshine Vitamin
  4. D’s Deliverance
  5. Benefits of Vitamin D for Tuberculosis Patients
  


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