Question: How important is vitamin D in living a long life?
Dr. Brownstein's Answer:
One of the world’s leading researchers on vitamin D, Dr. William Grant, published an article in the July 6, 2011, issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled, “An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels.”
For his article, Dr. Grant examined numerous studies following different methodologies, including case-control, ecological, cohort, and cross-sectional studies. Furthermore, he looked at randomized, controlled trials to estimate the change in mortality rates that could be achieved by increasing vitamin D levels.
Dr. Grant found that increasing vitamin D levels from 22 ng/ml to 44 ng/ml would significantly decrease all-cause mortality by 7.6 percent in black females and 17.3 percent in white females. The male all-cause mortality rates were 0.6 percent lower than females. Dr. Grant estimated that the higher vitamin D levels would be associated with an increased life expectancy of two years.
He summarized his research by writing, “Increasing serum [vitamin D levels] is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance (i.e., sun exposure) with sufficient body surface exposed.”
I have been checking vitamin D levels for nearly 20 years and recommending vitamin D supplementation for the same amount of time. I have not seen any adverse effects from supplementing vitamin D in the usual dose.
The usual dose is 5,000 IU per day of cholecalciferol — which is vitamin D3. Patients who see the most improvement with vitamin D3 are those with the lowest levels. However, higher vitamin D levels seem to improve thyroid and parathyroid function for everyone. The most absorbable form of vitamin D is BioD Forte from Biotics Research.
Posts by David Brownstein, M.D.
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