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How Vitamin D May Help You Live Longer

By on May 10, 2013
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We should all know by now that a little Vitamin D from the sun is good, but did you know it can help you live longer?

There have been a number of studies in recent years that are proving we can extend our lives in a number of ways by making sure our bodies aren’t low on Vitamin D.

An incredibly important vitamin/receptor that’s involved in the workings of 3,000 genes, vitamin D’s reaches are vast.  Here’s how Vitamin D can be the key in helping you live longer.

Prevention of diabetes: One of the more impressive feats of vitamin D is that it can fend off type-1 diabetes.  A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that “young adults who maintain sufficient levels of Vitamin D can reduce their risk of adult-onset type 1 diabetes by 50 to 60 percent.” [1]

There are also encouraging reports that Vitamin D may help prevent type-2 diabetes [2], a disease that typically shortens a persons life by 10 years.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Cardiovascular diseases, one of the number people as they age in the US, have also been linked to people with low Vitamin D levels, as well as hypertension and cardiomyopathy, another serious heart condition. [3]

Cancer patients live longer: A study at Steinar Tretli at The Cancer Registry of Norway followed 658 patients with different types of cancer (breast, lung, colon and lymphoma).

They tested their vitamin D levels over a several month period, and found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 2.5 times as likely to die from cancer. Those with the highest levels on the other hand lived around 22.6 months longer.

Prevent infectious diseases: Vitamin D has also shown to reduce the number of nasty infectious diseases that can lead to death [4], especially if one is advanced in years or in ill health from the onset.  Vitamin D has also shown promise in reducing the amount The flu, the common cold and even tuberculosis are all more common in people with lower levels of vitamin D.

Prevent fractures as you age: Another big benefit of vitamin D is its ability to aid the strengthening bones.

Vitamin D helps our bodies better absorb calcium [5] – without it, our bodies don’t properly absorb calcium from our diet which can lead to a calcium deficiency.

It’s now commonly prescribed by doctors to women as they age, along with a standard calcium supplement, as a double-whammy against osteoporosis (and osteopenia).  With stronger bones and less fractures, especially in our golden years, lives can be greatly extended.

Remember, a vitamin D supplement is necessary if you want to keep your levels high (unless you’re lucky to live in a region where you get full sunshine often).

Without a supplement you’ll need to eat a lot of vitamin D-fortified foods, like milk, plus spend lots of time in the sun just to keep from being Vitamin D deficient.  But then you’ll also need to be worry about the detrimental effects that eating too much dairy and getting to much sun can have on your body.

Editors Note: A good way to combat the harmful effects of the sun is with a Vitamin D enriched body lotion [6]

[1]  http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/2/14/vitamins-diabetes-study-health/

[2]  http://forecast.diabetes.org/magazine/your-ada/the-role-vitamin-d-type-2-diabetes

[3]  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19601865

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237723?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

[5] http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/#d

[6] M Langberg, C Rotem, E Fenig, R Koren, A Ravid, Vitamin D protects keratinocytes from deleterious effects of ionizing radiation, Br J Dermatol 160 151-161 (2009)

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