Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: vitamin D | supplementation | longevity | mortality | rates | European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | long

Vitamin D and Longevity

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Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 08:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive


Question: How important is vitamin D in living a long life?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

One of the world’s leading researchers on vitamin D, Dr. William Grant, published an article in the July 6, 2011, issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled, “An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels.”

For his article, Dr. Grant examined numerous studies following different methodologies, including case-control, ecological, cohort, and cross-sectional studies. Furthermore, he looked at randomized, controlled trials to estimate the change in mortality rates that could be achieved by increasing vitamin D levels.

Dr. Grant found that increasing vitamin D levels from 22 ng/ml to 44 ng/ml would significantly decrease all-cause mortality by 7.6 percent in black females and 17.3 percent in white females. The male all-cause mortality rates were 0.6 percent lower than females. Dr. Grant estimated that the higher vitamin D levels would be associated with an increased life expectancy of two years.

He summarized his research by writing, “Increasing serum [vitamin D levels] is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance (i.e., sun exposure) with sufficient body surface exposed.”

I have been checking vitamin D levels for nearly 20 years and recommending vitamin D supplementation for the same amount of time. I have not seen any adverse effects from supplementing vitamin D in the usual dose.

The usual dose is 5,000 IU per day of cholecalciferol — which is vitamin D3. Patients who see the most improvement with vitamin D3 are those with the lowest levels. However, higher vitamin D levels seem to improve thyroid and parathyroid function for everyone. The most absorbable form of vitamin D is BioD Forte from Biotics Research.


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