Taking supplements to overcome a vitamin D deficiency may cut the risk of dying by more than half compared to people who remain deficient. This finding comes from a University of Kansas analysis of data on more than 10,000 patients.
The researchers first found that 70 percent of patients in the population they studied were deficient in “D” and were three times more likely to die of any cause than those whose vitamin D levels were normal. The risks of death dropped by more than half after the deficiencies were corrected with supplements.
At the initial evaluation of the data, the investigators found that patients with low levels of “D” were twice as likely to have diabetes, 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure and about 30 percent more likely to have cardiomyopathy (a diseased heart muscle) than those who weren’t deficient in “D”.
The study doesn’t prove that a vitamin D deficiency is the cause of the illnesses seen – other factors could play a role. But, vitamin D deficiency does decrease the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can be a major cause of depression. Most people living in northern climates suffer from mild to severe vitamin D deficiency. Supplements may be necessary, but please, check with your doctor before embarking on any vitamin regimen.