Danish researchers have become the first to prove that low levels or a lack of Vitamin D in humans can lead to disease and premature death.
The scientists conducted a study that followed 96,000 Danes for 40 years, taking blood samples and tracking their lifestyle and diet.
The results revealed that most people get one fifth of their Vitamin D from food and four fifths from direct sunlight, and that those with chronically low levels have 30 percent higher mortality rates and are also 40 percent more likely to get tumorous growths.
“We have now proven that low levels of Vitamin D can increase the mortality risk by 30 percent,” Børge Nordestgaard, professor at the University of Copenhagen and doctor at Herlev Hospital, told Politiken. Nordestgaard was involved in the research.
Popping pills may not work
Although it has been established that humans need Vitamin D, the exact amount required is still not known.
“We still do not know how much Vitamin D you need or how you should get it,” he said. “The supplements that everyone seems to be taking may not be the best idea.”
The main natural source of Vitamin D is the sun. During the dark winter days, those low in the vitamin are advised to eat Vitamin D rich foods like omega-3 rich fish, milk and eggs or perhaps take a supplement.