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Supplementing with calcium and vitamin D associated with lower risk of dying over three year period

Supplementing with calcium and vitamin D associated with lower risk of dying over three year period

Tuesday, June 19, 2012. A article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reveals the outcome of a pooled analysis of eight randomized controlled trials which suggests that the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements reduced mortality over an average three year period.

Lars Rejnmark, PhD of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and his colleagues evaluated mortality among clinical trial participants assigned to calcium with vitamin D or vitamin D alone. Each trial included over 1,000 women and men who had a median age of 70 years. Dr Rejnmark's team found a 9 percent lower risk of dying over an average of three years in subjects who consumed calcium with vitamin D in comparison with those who did not receive the combination. The reduction in risk was not solely attributable to a decrease in fractures.

"This is the largest study ever performed on effects of calcium and vitamin D on mortality," Dr Rejnmark announced. "Our results showed reduced mortality in elderly patients using vitamin D supplements in combination with calcium, but these results were not found in patients on vitamin D alone."

"Some studies have suggested calcium (with or without vitamin D) supplements can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health," he noted. "Although our study does not rule out such effects, we found that calcium with vitamin D supplementation to elderly participants is overall not harmful to survival, and may have beneficial effects on general health".

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Reduced vitamin D levels associated with obesity

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An article published online on February 6, 2012 in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals an association between decreased serum vitamin D levels and a greater incidence of obesity in adults.

Xiao-Mei Mai of Norwegian University of Science and Technology and colleagues evaluated data from 2,460 men and women aged 19 to 55 who participated in the second and third surveys of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, conducted between 1995 to 1997 and 2006 to 2008. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and anthropometric measurements were obtained upon enrollment and at follow up.

Twelve percent of the subjects were classified as obese [defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more] at the beginning of the study and 15 percent were classified as obese after 11 years of follow-up. Having a serum vitamin D level below 50 nmol/L was associated with a four times greater adjusted risk of obesity than that experienced by subjects whose levels were 75 nmol/L or higher at the beginning of the study, and with a 1.73 times greater risk of developing obesity over follow-up. Similar results were observed when waist circumference was used to classify obesity, indicating an association with central adiposity.

"Our study is one of the few prospective cohort studies to have investigated the possible effect of low vitamin D status on change in adiposity and development of obesity," the authors write. "We found a consistent inverse association between baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and incident obesity defined by either BMI or waist circumference after 11 years of follow-up, and this inverse association was not modified by season of blood sample collection."

They recommend large prospective studies to further investigate the relationship between low vitamin D levels and the development of obesity.

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Life Extension Update What's Hot
Meta-analysis associates reduced vitamin D levels with greater risk of dying over follow-up periods of up to 27 years Higher vitamin D levels predict longer intensive care survival
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