Sun Basking To Add Years To Life

Basking in the sun can do more than just give you a good tan. Researchers now say it could even increase your lifespan.

In an intriguing new study, a team of European researchers have found that intake of Vitamin D supplement every day could make you live longer. The conclusion, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine on Tuesday, was reached after studying the impact of Vitamin D on 57,000 people. Till now, Vitamin D was known to be good for bones and teeth.

The team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon and European Institute for Oncology in Milan said that the compound, which is often called the “Sunshine Vitamin” because it is produced by the skin in response to sunlight, keeps cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis at bay.

If produced at high levels in the body, Vitamin D also plays a role in reducing heart disease and preventing pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. This paper was a meta-analysis of 18 previously published studies on the vitamin.

Even though none of the original experiments involving the vitamin with relation to conditions such as bone fractures, bone mineral density, congestive heart failure and colorectal cancer were designed to study how the vitamin affected mortality, the trials did track participants’ death data.

The lead authors, Philippe Autier from IARC and Sara Gandini from EIC, after going through the exhaustive data, found that people who took daily Vitamin D supplements were 7% less likely to die from any cause than people who didn’t.

The researchers said this meant the lifespan of an individual taking Vitamin D supplements increased by one to two years.

“Mechanisms by which Vitamin D supplementation would decrease all-cause mortality are not clear. Vitamin D could inhibit some mechanisms by which cancer cells proliferate, promotes calcium absorption and bone maintenance, spur cell differentiation or it may boost the function of blood vessels or the immune system. In turn, these processes reduce the aggressiveness of cancer tumours or keep artery-clogging plaques from growing. In conclusion, the intake of ordinary doses of Vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates,” the authors wrote.

The team also called for population-based, placebo-controlled randomised trials in people 50 years or older for at least six years with total mortality as the main end point to confirm the findings.

Source:The Times Of India

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