New research throws light on Vitamin D deficiency, which is not focused fully till now as the ultimate cause for other diseases leading to an early death. Otherwise, it was mainly attributed to bone health till now.
Based on examination of genes, the new study has established for the first time a causal relationship between low Vitamin D levels and increased mortality, the researchers claimed.
“We can see that genes associated with low Vitamin D levels involve an increased mortality rate of 30 percent and, more specifically, a 40 percent higher risk of cancer-related deaths,” said Shoaib Afzal, medical doctor at Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.
“An important factor in our study is that we have established a causal relationship,” Afzal added.
The D vitamin is freely available as the skin produces Vitamin D whenever it is exposed to sun shine. Evidence suggests that sunshine has a positive effect on our health, but sunburns must be avoided as they increase the risk of skin cancer.
Even a diet rich in Vitamin D or the intake of Vitamin D supplements can also cover our need to some extent. Some of the diseases that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to include daibetes, BP, flu, anaemia, weak bones, brain damage, infertility, depression and cancer.
The study involved 96,000 people from large-scale population studies in Denmark. Vitamin D levels were measured using blood samples from the studies, and specific genetic defects were examined. All participants were followed for mortality from 1976 until 2014.
“Our study shows that low Vitamin D levels do result in higher mortality rates,” Borge Nordestgaard from University of Copenhagen said.