Vitamin D

Vitamin-D Deficiency Now Associated With Increased Mortality

Whatever we thought we knew about Vitamin D supplementation, we need to rethink. Another study suggesting a link between low levels of vitamin D and cardiac risk has been published, this time showing that vitamin D deficiency is associated with both cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. The study, published in the June 23, 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted by a group led by Dr. Harald Dobnig (Medical University of Graz, Austria).

They note that it has been estimated that 50% to 60% of people do not have satisfactory vitamin D status, and this is probably related to factors such as urbanization, demographic shifts, decreased outdoor activity, air pollution and global dimming, along with decreases in the cutaneous production of vitamin D with age.

The minimum desirable serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D has been suggested to be 20 to 30 ng/mL, and levels lower than this are clearly related to compromised bone-mineral density, falls, and fractures and more recently have also been linked to cancer and immune dysfunction, as well as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome.

The study’s conclusions are shockingly simple … higher vitamin D blood levels lead to less heart disease. They point out that recent studies have shown an association of low 25-hydroxyvitamin-D levels with important cardiovascular risk factors, supporting previous findings that demonstrated positive effects of vitamin D and its analogs on fibrinolysis, blood lipids, thrombogenicity, endothelial regeneration, and smooth-muscle-cell growth.

This study is of particular importance since functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. Functional medicine centers on examining the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. This study may well represent one core clinical imbalance underlying a host of conditions.

A simple blood test can determine your Vitamin D level. If you believe you may be deficient, you should discuss it with your doctor.

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