Should increase life expectancy by 2 years if double vitamin D levels – July 2011

An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul 6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.68.
Grant WB.
Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background/Objectives:The goal of this work is to estimate the reduction in mortality rates for six geopolitical regions of the world under the assumption that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels increase from 54 to 110?nmol/l.

Subjects/Methods:This study is based on interpretation of the journal literature relating to the effects of solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) and vitamin D in reducing the risk of disease and estimates of the serum 25(OH)D level-disease risk relations for cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and respiratory infections.
The vitamin D-sensitive diseases that account for more than half of global mortality rates are

  • CVD,
  • cancer,
  • respiratory infections,
  • respiratory diseases,
  • tuberculosis and
  • diabetes mellitus.

Additional vitamin D-sensitive diseases and conditions that account for 2 to 3% of global mortality rates are

  • Alzheimer's disease,
  • falls,
  • meningitis,
  • Parkinson's disease,
  • maternal sepsis,
  • maternal hypertension (pre-eclampsia) and
  • multiple sclerosis.

Increasing serum 25(OH)D levels from 54 to 110?nmol/l would reduce the vitamin D-sensitive disease mortality rate by an estimated 20%.

Results:The reduction in all-cause mortality rates range from

  • 7.6% for African females to
  • 17.3% for European females.

Reductions for males average 0.6% lower than for females.

The estimated increase in life expectancy is 2 years for all six regions.

Conclusions:Increasing serum 25(OH)D levels is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is very low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance with sufficient body surface area exposed.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 6 July 2011; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.68.

PMID: 21731036

Just one of the tables in the paper


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