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Ask the Doctor: Longer life without vitamin D?

I take vitamin D to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I also heard that people with low vitamin D live longer.  Should I be taking vitamin D?

The study you’re referring to was a Dutch study published this past November. The researchers looked at 380 families with 2 siblings who lived into their 90s. Looking at vitamin D levels and three genes associated with vitamin D, they found a higher rate of a form of the gene CYP2R1, which predisposes individuals to low vitamin D.

This study was interesting because, we have dozens of studies that suggest higher levels of vitamin D are associated with lower levels of heart disease, cancer and other major diseases.  Now we have a study that suggests that a gene that affects vitamin D may be correlated with a longer than average life span.  Unfortunately, we don’t know how or why that correlation exists.

From a practical standpoint, the weight of the evidence suggests vitamin D helps reduce the risk of death from the major leading causes of disease; and if it is helping your Seasonal Affective Disorder, than it is certainly worth taking.

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