Low levels of vitamin D and increased mortality

Vitamin D deficiency is especially prevalent in geographical areas where there is less sunlight. And that is why to have good levels of this vitamin is to consume food that contains it. An investigation just associated low levels of vitamin D with increased mortality.

Previous studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D gene are associated with increased mortality, but it is unclear whether low vitamin D levels are a cause of increased mortality or simply a consequence of weak health. Millions of people around the world regularly take vitamin D supplements, presumably in order to prevent diseases and hoping to live longer.

A research team based in Denmark is proposed to test the theory that genetically low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased mortality, using a technique called Mendelian randomization. Their study, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that genetically low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased mortality.

The study included 95 766 white participants of Danish descent of three cohorts in Copenhagen, Denmark, who had the genetic variants that are known to affect levels of vitamin D. They recorded in addition to the genetic variants of the participants, other factors common risk, as the consumption of snuff, alcohol consumption, physical activity levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). They watched participants from study entry until 2013.

The results show that genetically low levels of vitamin D were associated with increased all-cause mortality, cancer mortality and other mortality, but not cardiovascular mortality. These findings are consistent with the idea that genetically low levels of vitamin D may be causally associated with mortality from cancer and other causes, according to the authors, but also suggest that the relationship with cardiovascular mortality could be the result of other factors unmeasured confounding.

Sun, oily fish, eggs, milk…

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of some diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or intestinal inflammation.

Besides the moderate sun exposure to prevent the deficit is essential intake of foods rich in this vitamin as blue fish, fish liver oil (especially cod liver oil), margarine, eggs, milk, dairy products and fortified foods.