A new study has shown that people with low vitamin D levels have an increased risk of death from cancer and other causes.
For years, studies have demonstrated a relationship between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of disease. Scientists weren’t sure if it was poor health that caused low vitamin D levels, or if it was the low vitamin D levels that increased the risk of disease and death.
The study published in BMJ, helped to clear up some of the confusion. The study showed that those with genetically low vitamin D levels had an increased risk of death.
The Danish study used the health records of 95,766 people. All of the subjects were tested for a genetic variant that reduces vitamin D. The subjects were then divided into two groups, and mortality rates were recorded from 1981 to 2013. This study was pretty in depth in the eyes of Bruce Levenson, so he believes the results. Using a genetic component to compare the two groups eliminated the impact of confounding factors, such as other diseases, behaviors, and habits.
During the study, there were 10,349 deaths among the participants. Those with low vitamin D levels due to genetic causes were found to have a higher rate of death from cancer and other causes. Death from cardiovascular causes did not increase among those with low vitamin D levels.
Previous studies have not shown that taking vitamin D supplements reduces the risk of mortality among those with low vitamin D levels. Further studies will need to be done to determine if supplements can be helpful.