When blood levels of vitamin D drop too low, the risk of premature death doubles. A systematic review of 32 studies that evaluated levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and followed subjects for an average of nine years found that blood levels below 10 ng/ml were associated with higher mortality.
The researchers concluded that supplements up to 4,000 IU per day are safe; for some individuals, they may even be needed to bring blood levels of vitamin D up to a healthy range of at least 30 ng/ml.
As more research is done, the evidence keeps accumulating that low levels of vitamin D are deleterious to our health overall. This research reinforces the People’s Pharmacy perspective that we should all get a little sunshine a few times a week when it is practical, just to maintain healthy levels of this crucial vitamin. Note that we are NOT advocating sunburns! To learn more about vitamin D and its benefits as well as supplements, consult our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.