Vitamin D supplementing extends life ‘on par with exercising’

TenementCage

An example of a wire cage attached to a tenement building. The cage allowed children to be exposed to sunlight and fresh air.

In 1822 a Polish physician was the first to highlight the important role of vitamin D by claiming exposure to sunlight could cure rickets.

His research was ignored by mainstream medicine… to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of people over the next 100 years.

Finally, a century later, vitamin D importance became “mainstream.” So much so that in the big cities wire cages were attached to tenement buildings to ensure babies could crawl out into the fresh air and receive the benefit of sunlight.

Fast forward another century and the merits of vitamin D are still being debated. Even with the benefit of literally thousands of studies.

Vitamin D is now widely accepted as an important nutrient for bone health; however, wider roles, such as its relevance in battling heart disease, are questioned.

When it’s all boiled down, though, does taking vitamin D supplements extend one’s life?

According to a review of 56 randomized trials including 95,000 participants over a period of 4.4 years, the answer is yes.

According to NutritionFacts.org, when life longevity of the participants taking vitamin D supplements were compared to participants NOT taking vitamin D, there was an 11% decrease in overall mortality. Reduction of cancer deaths was especially noticeable.

According to the researchers, the benefit of taking vitamin D supplements was approximately on par to daily exercising.

One important discovery made with this particular research project was that the longevity benefit appeared to be present only with the D3 type of vitamin D. There appeared to be only a very modest benefit–if any–from the vitamin D2 supplements.

Vitamin D3 supplements are typically derived from plants and animals; whereas D2 supplements are most-commonly derived from yeast and mushrooms.

While the researchers stated that it would take 150 people taking vitamin D3 supplements for five years to save a single life, for those who have studied the myriad of benefits gleaned from this nutrient, it’s just one more piece of evidence pointing to the importance of including vitamin D supplementing in their daily regimen.

For more information on the randomized trials you can watch the four minute video at NutritionFacts.org here.