Results are coming in from one of the biggest and longest research projects ever conducted about the health of an entire population.
The HUNT study, which collected an incredible database of medical history on the residents of Norway, recently published its findings about vitamin D in the BMJ.
And the conclusions were quite clear — if you want to live longer, make sure you’re getting enough of this sunshine vitamin.
It’s starting to sound like we should rename vitamin D the “bucket list vitamin.” Because by making sure you have enough of it, you’re going to have to keep making that bucket list longer!
But the really good news here is that getting more of this vitamin is about as easy as it gets.
On the HUNT for health
It’s almost as if we’re in the midst of a new era of discovery about the vital role vitamin D plays in our ability to live a long and healthy life. Because without enough of this vitamin, you’re putting yourself in the cross-hairs of some of the most serious diseases known to man.
- Heart disease: Earlier this year, a meta-analysis of 44 independent studies involving over 180,000 participants published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people deficient in D were much more likely to suffer from heart disease.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Subpar levels of vitamin D have now been linked not only to a major risk factor in developing MS, but also in suffering relapses.
- Cancer: While we’ve known for some time that low levels of D are associated with various cancers, just last year a pivotal study came out of the UK’s University of Warwick focusing on D’s protective effect against bladder cancer. They found that cells lining the bladder wall have a strong, protective immune response when exposed to vitamin D. And that might make all the difference in the world whether you come down with this devastating cancer… or not.
Then there’s the Big D — dementia.
We recently told you about a study where researchers from the Duke/NUS Medical School got together with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to examine over 1,000 seniors in China. They found that those who didn’t get enough vitamin D were twice as likely to have difficulty with their memory, language, thinking, and judgement.
Another study of more than 1,600 seniors done for over five years concluded that the lower your D levels, the higher your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
And now, researchers out of Norway who monitored close to 7,000 adults for almost 19 years as part of the long-term, nation-wide HUNT study have discovered that too little vitamin D circulating in your blood puts you at a significant risk of premature death.
In fact, those whose blood contained the lowest levels of D were 30 percent more likely to die than subjects with the highest amounts.
At this point, there’s really no doubt about how vital vitamin D is for all aspects of our health. And making sure you have enough of it is simple as can be.
During the summer months, try to get out in the sun (without sunscreen!) for around 10 minutes a day. Excellent dietary sources include fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and tuna, along with egg yolks, milk, and yogurt.
And there’s also no reason not to take a vitamin D3 supplement that contains a minimum of 2,000 IU, especially during the winter months. D3 also happens to be one of the cheapest vitamins out there!
“Too little vitamin D could be deadly” Terry Graedon, July 6, 2017, The People’s Pharmacy, peoplespharmacy.com