It’s no secret that one of the greatest natural supplements is vitamin D. A mainstay in health news and the focus of health breakthroughs, vitamin D is the target of another interesting finding. It seems that giving vitamin D3 to mostly older women seems to prolong their lives.
These women, mainly in institutional care, are likely to be vitamin-D deficient with a significant risk of falls and fractures. Until now there has been no clear view on whether there is a real benefit of taking vitamin D. Several years ago, a study found that there may be some benefits, but there was no link to mortality.
But the new study set out to analyze the results from 50 different trials around the world. That totaled more than 94,000 people, at an average age of 74, 79% of whom were women. Their analysis suggests that vitamin D3 reduces mortality by about six percent. This means that you need to give about 200 people vitamin D3 for around two years to save one person.
As for the other forms of vitamin D such as vitamin D2, and the active forms of the vitamin, alfacalcidol or calcitriol, there was no such link. But researchers point out that they could only find much fewer data relating to these types of vitamin D, so these conclusions should be taken with caution. As well, alfacalcidol and calcitriol significantly increased the risk of elevated calicium in the blood — while vitamin D3 combined with calcium significantly increased the risk of kidney stones.
There have been reports and comments that taking vitamin D could reduce the risk of getting cancer, but this work showed no evidence that vitamin D reduced cancer-related mortality.
In any event, it is another big new study that addressed the power of vitamin D. And this is a very interesting possibility that hints at a newfound power of this disease-preventing nutrient. Namely, that it could prolong the lives of those in their twilight years.