Too much vitamin D can be as unhealthy as too little
Scientists know that Vitamin D deficiency is not healthy. However, new research from the University of Copenhagen now indicates that too high a level of the essential vitamin is not good either. The study is based on blood samples from 247,574 Copenhageners. The results have just been published in the reputed scientific Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Vitamin D is instrumental in helping calcium reach our bones, thus lessening the risk from falls and the risk of broken hips. Research suggests that vitamin D is also beneficial in combating cardiac disease, depression and certain types of cancers. The results from a study conducted by the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences now support the benefits of vitamin D in terms of mortality risk. However, the research results also show higher mortality in people with too high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream:
"We have had access to blood tests from a quarter of a million Copenhageners. We found higher mortality in people with a low level of vitamin D in their blood, but to our surprise, we also found it in people with a high level of vitamin D. We can draw a graph showing that perhaps it is harmful with too little and too much vitamin D," explains Darshana Durup, PhD student.
If the blood contains less than 10 nanomol (nmol) of vitamin per liter of serum, mortality is 2.31 times higher. However, if the blood contains more than 140 nmol of vitamin per liter of serum, mortality is higher by a factor of 1.42. Both values are compared to 50 nmol of vitamin per liter of serum, where the scientists see the lowest mortality rate.
More studies are needed
Darshana Durup emphasises that while scientists do not know the cause of the higher mortality, she believes that the new results can be used to question the wisdom of those people who claim that you can never get too much vitamin D:
"It is important to conduct further studies in order to understand the relationship. A lot of research has been conducted on the risk of vitamin D deficiency. However, there is no scientific evidence for a 'more is better' argument for vitamin D, and our study does not support the argument either. We hope that our study will inspire others to study the cause of higher mortality with a high level of vitamin D," says Darshana Durup. She adds:
"We have moved into a controversial area that stirs up strong feelings just like debates on global warming and research on nutrition. But our results are based on a quarter of a million blood tests and provide an interesting starting point for further research."
The largest study of its kind
The study is the largest of its kind and it was only possible to conduct it because of Denmark's civil registration system, which is unique in the Nordic countries. The 247,574 blood samples come from the Copenhagen General Practitioners Laboratory:
"Our data material covers a wide age range. The people who participated had approached their own general practitioners for a variety of reasons and had had the vitamin D level in their bloodstream measured in that context. This means that while the study can show a possible association between mortality and a high level of vitamin D, we cannot as yet explain the higher risk," explains Darshana Durup.
Therefore in future research project scientists would like to compare the results with information from disease registers such as the cancer register. Financial support is currently being sought for such projects.
Journal reference: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Provided by University of Copenhagen
- Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality May 10, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher mortality in female nursing home residents Mar 06, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Low vitamin D levels may be common in otherwise healthy children Jul 09, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Vitamin D can help elderly women survive Jul 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Low vitamin D levels may contribute to development of Type 2 diabetes Dec 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Bed sharing with parents is linked to a fivefold increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), even when the parents are non-smokers and the mother has not been drinking alcohol and does not use illegal drugs, according ...
Health 2 hours ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
Doctors tell people with a heart-zapping device in their chests to give up intense sports like basketball and soccer in favor of golf or bowling. But lots of patients ignore that advice—and now new research is challenging ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Little is known about the effect of physical education (PE) on child weight, but a new study from Cornell University finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Living near a major roadway during the prenatal period is associated with an increased risk of respiratory infection developing in children by the age of 3, according to a new study from researchers in Boston.
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
People who are consistently exposed to both wood smoke and tobacco smoke are at a greater risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for experiencing more frequent and severe symptoms of the disease, ...
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
5 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (7) | 1 |
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
3 hours ago | 3.6 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Researchers have pinpointed a catalytic trigger for the onset of Alzheimer's disease – when the fundamental structure of a protein molecule changes to cause a chain reaction that leads to the death of neurons ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
2 hours ago | 4.3 / 5 (6) | 1 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Older prostate cancer patients with other underlying health conditions should think twice before committing to surgery or radiation therapy for their cancer, according to a multicenter study led by researchers in the UCLA ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |