Doubling vitamin D levels reported to be most cost effective way to reduce global mortality rates

18 November 2015  |  Editor

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Vitamin D can reduce global  mortality rates

Vitamin D expert Dr. William A Grant has predicted that doubling vitamin D levels in 6 regions of the world, imcluding Europe, would increase life expectancy in those regions by 2 years.

"The predicted reduction in all-cause mortality rates ranges from 7.6 percent for African females to 17.3 percent for European females", claims Grant, director of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco.

His latest study concludes: “Increasing serum 25(OH)D levels is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is very low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance with sufficient body surface area exposed.”

Vitamin D evidence ignored

Dr. Grant criticises policymakers for accepting only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of disease: “I believe that this restriction is unnecessary… Vitamin D is not a drug, for which RCTs would be required, but is instead a natural compound essential for optimal health.”

He also criticises the International Agency for Research on Cancer in finding a beneficial effect only for colorectal cancer, and rejecting potential benefits for other kinds of cancer, complaining that “ the members of the review committee were largely dermatologists and made many errors and omissions in their review.”

Dr. Grant found fault with the Institute of Medicine, too, when they refused evidence linking vitamin D with a reduced risk of various cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. "Unfortunately, federal sponsors directed the committee not to consider studies where vitamin D came from non-oral sources such as solar UVB irradiance and case control studies that measured serum 25(OH)D levels at the time of disease diagnosis. These two types of studies provide much of the stronger evidence for several diseases."

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Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print: doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.68

‘An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels’