Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Would Higher Intake of Vitamin-D Reduce Mortality Rate?

There is no doubt that Vitamin-D is good for our health. Recent research (February 2009) from Johns Hopkins University even suggested that the likelihood of dying could well be reduced by consuming higher amounts of Vitamin-D!

Studies have found that people who had a deficiency in Vitamin-D would have a 26 percent higher chance of dying, and Vitamin-D would reduce the mortality rate from almost every type of cancer including breast, colon and prostate. Meanwhile, research also indicated that Vitamin-D would help prevent heart disease, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.

In fact, a doctor of internal medicine in United States did find 80 percent of his patients lacked Vitamin-D to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus in their body. He regularly screened his patients during examinations by a simple blood test, which could check for levels that should remain at 30 nanograms per milliliter or more.

In general, people with insufficient amount of Vitamin-D may have muscle pain or a feeling of achiness. Those who have severe and long-term deficiency of Vitamin-D would eventually lead to rickets, which refers to softening or weakening of the bones.

Although sunlight does help our body produce Vitamin-D, long hours of exposure in direct sunlight would actually raise the risk of skin cancer. As such, doctors usually recommend people who are short for Vitamin-D to take food and supplements to make up the deficiency.

The recommended amount by the United States Department of Agriculture is 200 International Units (IU) per day for people up to the age of 50. Nevertheless, most health experts felt that the correct amount should be at least 400 IU.

People are advised to take supplements and eat more foods rich in Vitamin-D. For example, an 8-ounce glass of fortified milk contains about 100 IUs of Vitamin-D. Other foods like salmon and tuna, fortified cereals, nuts, orange juice and dairy products are all rich in Vitamin-D. Meanwhile, people can also take supplements that are rich in Vitamin-D3 such as cholecalciferol.

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