On the other hand, vitamin D supplements could have a greater impact on the likelihood of dying from a disease.
His team found a clear link between vitamin D levels in the blood and the risk of early death. – Persons below the age of 60 years: Persons with a content of 10 nmol / l (nanomoles per liter) or less were almost three times more likely to die during the study than those with a reasonable content (50 nmol / l).
In contrast, middle-aged and younger people with a vitamin D content of at least 90 nmol / l had a lower risk of dying than people over the age of 50.
In general, vitamin D concentrations of 50 nmol / L or higher are considered high enough for general health, according to the US National Institutes of Health.
When the researchers found the causes of death, it turned out that vitamin D levels have only weak links to heart disease and cancer. Instead, people with low levels (under 50) were more than four times more likely to die from diabetes complications than people with adequate levels.
It is not clear why. However, Marculescu said that there are plausible reasons that vitamin D levels are particularly related to diabetes: the vitamin, which acts as a hormone in the body, helps to regulate the immune system. This is relevant for type 1
Vitamin D is also important for the cells that produce the hormone insulin – which regulates blood sugar – and for the insulin sensitivity of the body. Marculescu pointed out that this is relevant for type 2 diabetes.
For the time being, the results confirmed "the already very strong justification for the intensification of vitamin D supplementation, especially in childhood and in younger years".
He referred to recommendations from the Endocrine Society. They suggest that adults receive 1,500 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, while children and adolescents receive 600 to 1,000 IU.
The body naturally synthesizes vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin, but a cold climate – and fear of sun exposure – can limit this source.
Diekman suggested checking the vitamin D level in the blood. If it's low, she said, talk to your doctor about how to boost it – whether it's through dietary supplements or foods like vitamin D-fortified dairy, juice or grains.