- Vitamin D must be absorbed through the skin by the sun
- A Vitamin D deficiency can serious consequences to have
- defect may be too premature death to lead
- One group of people is particularly at risk
The vitamin D level falls in many people, especially in the winter months: Because the body’s own vitamin D production is only set in motion when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Many people are less likely to leave the house when it is cold, which can be an additional risk factor for vitamin D deficiency when there are fewer hours of sunshine. A vitamin D level that is too low is usually underestimated or not even noticed. How dangerous a deficiency can be, however, reveals a study by the “Medical University of Vienna”.
Vitamin D deficiency: premature death may be possible
First of all, however, it should be mentioned that vitamin D supplementation can by no means do everything. In the course of this, a misconception has now been refuted: A research team from Massachusetts General Hospitals at Harvard Medical School found that taking vitamin D had no effect on whether or not you were more prone to depression. Unlike what was first believed.
In the broadest study on this topic to date, around 18,000 middle-aged men were observed over a period of five years. The results were published in the journal JAMA and are clear when it comes to preventing depression with vitamin D. Conclusions too.
Vitamin D has a special position among all vitamins: It can not only be absorbed through diet, but is also produced by the body itself – above all through the absorption of sun rays. The mere intake through food is not enough to meet the body’s vitamin D requirements.
Vitamin D deficiency and increased mortality are linked
What consequences a Vitamin D deficiency have examined Austrian scientists – the result of the study is worrying. The scientists from the University of Vienna analyzed whether there is a connection between a vitamin D deficiency in the body and increased mortality. They presented their results at the annual meeting of the “European Association for the Study of Diabetes”.
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The study brought the following findings: Increased mortality and a lack of vitamin D go hand in hand close connection. Parallels could be found especially in people of younger and middle age. It is also frightening that vitamin D deficiency has been linked to deaths caused by diabetes in particular.
The connection between increased mortality and a lack of vitamin D has already been proven in numerous studies. Much of the research, however, can be traced back to examining older test subjects. An influence on the results due to an increased rate of vitamin D supplementation cannot be ruled out.
Study of Vitamin D Deficiency
In the department for laboratory medicine of the “General Hospital” in Vienna, measurements of the vitamin D content in the body were carried out between 1991 and 2011 in a total of 78,581 patients (31.5 percent male, average age 51 years). The researchers in the new study used data from the records and compared them with the Austrian death register. Patients were followed up for up to 20 years if possible (mean time was 10.5 years).
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The mean value used for the blood level of vitamin D was 50 nmol / l (nanomoles per liter). This value could then be compared with a low blood level (10 nmol / l) and a high blood level (90 nmol / l) of vitamin D.
It turned out from these observations that a low levels of vitamin D in the blood associated with a two to three-fold increase in the risk of death became. The greatest effect (2.9-fold increased risk) was observed here in patients aged 45 to 60 years. Overall mortality decreased by up to 40 percent when the vitamin D blood level was 90 nmol / l. Here, too, the greatest effect was seen in test subjects aged 45 to 60 years. Only in patients over 75 years of age did the higher vitamin D blood level not show a statistically significant association.
Vitamin D deficiency increases mortality: Diabetics are particularly affected
The study also looked at the links between vitamin D and various diseases. For this purpose, the values of the cause-specific mortality, i.e. the number of deaths due to a certain disease in relation to the size of the population, were compared with the blood content. Surprisingly, the greatest correlation is not between cardiovascular disease or cancer.
A completely different disease reacted particularly intensely to a vitamin D deficiency: diabetes patients. Diabetics from the vitamin D deficiency group (less than or equal to 50 nmol / l) had a 4.4 times higher risk of dying from the disease than the diabetic from the comparison group. For people who suffer from diabetes, it is particularly important that the vitamin D content in the body is well regulated and that there are no deficiency symptoms.
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At the end of the study, the scientists came to the clear conclusion: A strong connection can be confirmed between vitamin D deficiency (below 50 nmol / l) and increased mortality. It is therefore recommended that everyone always keep an eye on their own vitamin D content in the body in order to avoid deficiency symptoms and an increased risk of death.
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