As research about vitamin D continues, much has already been learned about this important vitamin. Normally, the skin will produce sufficient amounts of this vitamin when you get just 10 minutes of sunlight. Many people have been staying indoors recently, which means getting less of this vitamin, and it may partly explain why some people do not live longer.
Deficiencies of Vitamin D Are Harmful
It has already been shown in numerous studies that having a deficiency of vitamin D over an extended period can reduce longevity. The lack of sufficient amounts of the vitamin (and too much of it) is well-known to be connected with a wide variety of serious illnesses – many of which are fatal. The illnesses include bone and skeletal diseases, deficiencies in the immune system, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin D Can Reduce Death from All Causes
Studies conducted around the world have shown that a lack of vitamin D can easily result in early death from all causes. Having lower amounts of the vitamin increases the risk of dying sooner from any cause. Getting additional, or supplemented vitamin D, has been shown to reduce death from all causes. Multiple studies used placebos and showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups.
The Type of Vitamin D Matters
Additional health benefits have also been shown to be different based on the type of vitamin D taken. More benefits are obtained from taking vitamin D3 than from vitamin D2. Studies revealed that vitamin D3 reduced the risk of death from any cause by 11 percent, but vitamin D2 only reduced that risk by 4 percent.
Recommended Amounts Changed
The standard once set by the government (the US Institute of Medicine) was deemed too low for people to see a reduction in increased mortality. Not long ago, they raised it to 600 IU. Several other agencies are now promoting a recommended intake of at least 1,000 IU per day for everyone, and some groups recommend getting between 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day.
People that have darker skin do not convert sunshine into vitamin D as easily as someone with lighter skin. It means that they may need to stay in the sun four to five times longer than others. The difference in skin color may mean that those with darker skin are at a higher risk of mortality from all causes.
Long Term Use of Vitamin D Is Best
Studies have shown that supplementing your diet with vitamin D supplements may not benefit you short term. The benefits only start to appear after you have taken the supplements for at least three years.
The Vitamin May Also Extend Life of Cancer Patients
Some tests have also found that the sunshine vitamin has lengthened the lives of some cancer patients. The precise cause of how this happens is still unclear. One study involving over 79,000 patients showed that the vitamin had a notable effect on the life extension of those patients.
Vitamin D is one of the life extension vitamins that can help you live longer. There are several natural sources of vitamin D, including tuna, salmon, egg yolks, cheese, and liver. Certain medications may interact with Vitamin D, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor before supplementing it. Babies and infants may also need some supplementation unless they are taking formula.