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Sunlight Can Cut Your Risk of Death in Half

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Having low vitamin D levels has been linked with deaths from heart disease and other causes, adding to growing evidence about the “sunshine” vitamin’s role in good health.

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People with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D were about two times more likely to die from any cause during an eight-year period than those with the highest levels. The link with heart-related deaths was particularly strong in those with low vitamin D levels.

The study involved over 3,000 men and women in southwest Germany. Participants were aged 62 on average, and their vitamin D levels were checked in weekly blood tests.

It’s estimated that at least 50 percent of older adults worldwide have low vitamin D levels, and a significant number of younger people may also be affected. Low vitamin D levels may result from spending less time outdoors, air pollution and a decline in your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from the sun as you age, the researchers said.


Sources:

* USA Today June 23, 2008

* Archives of Internal Medicine June 23, 2008;168(12):1340-1349

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How Much Oral Vitamin D Can be Taken?

New research has once again placed optimum vitamin D intake at much higher than the current recommended amount.

The study of 138 subjects suggested a daily dose of 3800 IU for those with adequate blood vitamin D levels, and 5000 IU each day for those who are vitamin D deficient.

The current recommended intakes for vitamin D are as low as 200 IU daily for those aged 19-50, and go only as high as 600 IU daily for those over the age of 70.

Sources: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2008; 87(6):1952-1958 (Free Full-Text Report)

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