[PHNUTR-L] Vitamin D supplements appear to be associated with lower
risk of death
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Thu Sep 13 07:09:34 PDT 2007
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Public release date: 10-Sep-2007
Contact: Philippe Autier, M.D.
autierp at iarc.fr
JAMA and Archives Journals
Vitamin D supplements appear to be associated with lower risk of death
Individuals who take vitamin D supplements appear to have a lower risk
of death from any cause over an average follow-up time of six-years,
according to a meta-analysis of 18 previously published studies in the
September 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the
Past studies have suggested that deficiencies in vitamin D might be
associated with a higher risk of death from cancer, heart disease and
diabetes—illnesses that account for 60 percent to 70 percent of deaths
in high-income nations, according to background information in the
article. “If the associations made between vitamin D and these
conditions were consistent, then interventions effectively strengthening
vitamin D status should result in reduced total mortality,” the authors
Philippe Autier, M.D., of the International Agency for Research on
Cancer, Lyon, France, and Sara Gandini, Ph.D., of the European Institute
of Oncology, Milano, Italy, searched for randomized controlled trials of
vitamin D supplements published before November 2006. They analyzed 18
separate trials that included 57,311 participants and evaluated doses of
vitamin D ranging from 300 to 2,000 international units, with an average
dose of 528 international units. Most commercially available supplements
contain between 400 and 600 international units.
Over an average follow-up period of 5.7 years, 4,777 of the participants
died. Individuals who took vitamin D had a 7 percent lower risk of death
than those who did not. In the nine trials that collected blood samples,
those who took supplements had an average 1.4- to 5.2-fold higher blood
level of vitamin D than those who did not.
“Mechanisms by which vitamin D supplementation would decrease all-cause
mortality are not clear,” the authors write. Vitamin D could inhibit
some mechanisms by which cancer cells proliferate, or it may boost the
function of blood vessels or the immune system, they note.
“In conclusion, the intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements
seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates,” the
authors write. “The relationship between baseline vitamin D status, dose
of vitamin D supplements and total mortality rates remains to be
investigated. Population-based, placebo-controlled randomized trials in
people 50 years or older for at least six years with total mortality as
the main end point should be organized to confirm these findings.”
(Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1730-1737. Available pre-embargo to the
media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information,
including other authors, author contributions and affiliations,
financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Editorial: Vitamin D and Total Mortality
The meta-analysis “adds a new chapter in the accumulating evidence for a
beneficial role of vitamin D on health,” writes Edward Giovannucci,
M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, in an
“Research on vitamin D should be continued to clearly elucidate the
specific benefits and optimal intakes and levels of vitamin D,” Dr.
Giovannucci writes. “Nonetheless, based on the total body of evidence of
health conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency, abetted with the
results from this meta-analysis, a more proactive attitude to identify,
prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency should be part of standard
medical care. From a broader public health perspective, the roles of
moderate sun exposure, food fortification with vitamin D and higher-dose
vitamin D supplements for adults need to be debated.”
(Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1709-1710. Available pre-embargo to the
media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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