by: John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Enlightened health followers have heard about the importance of taking vitamin D and maintaining optimal blood levels of the prohormone to prevent chronic disease for more than a decade now. Despite the countless research studies that all demonstrate the critical nature of vitamin D to prevent cancer, heart disease and many chronic illnesses, millions of Americans continue to suffer needlessly and die early because they have neglected to take an inexpensive supplement or check their vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.
Vitamin D supplementation in the frail and elderly is shown to slash risk of death
The lead study author, Dr. Ellen Smit commented "What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults and especially among people who are frail… older adults need to be screened for vitamin D." She and her team noted that people who were frail had more than double the risk of death than those who were not frail. Frail adults with low levels of vitamin D tripled their risk of death over people who were not frail and who had higher levels of vitamin D.
Publishing their work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study team examined more than 4,300 adults older than 60 using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Due to the cross-sectional nature of the analysis, researchers could not determine if low vitamin D contributed to frailty, or whether frail people became vitamin D deficient because of confounding health problems. The authors concluded it may not matter, as suboptimal levels place all individuals at considerably greater risk of death from all causes.
Dr. Smit concluded "As you age, there is an increased risk of melanoma, but older adults should try and get more activity in the sunshine… our study suggests that there is an opportunity for intervention with those who are in the pre-frail group, but could live longer, more independent lives if they get proper nutrition and exercise." This study underscores the critical importance of checking vitamin D blood saturation (50 to 70 ng/mL using the 25(OH)D test) and supplementing as necessary (5,000 to 7,000 IU per day for most adults) to dramatically lower mortality in the elderly population.