How to live longer: The vitamin shown to reduce risk of mortality in over-70s – new study

Dr Zoe reveals which supplements to take

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Although it is recommended by health bodies not to take vitamin D supplements during the winter, some may need to continue a dosage if their skin doesn’t receive enough exposure or they have a weakened immune system.

Recent studies have also suggested vitamin D supplementation could be an effective way to reduce mortality in the over-70s.

A study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) suggested vitamin D supplements are most effective in the over-70s.

The research said it was beneficial for adults at risk of year round vitamin deficiencies.

As well as reducing mortality, vitamin D supplementation was found to be cost effective as the supplements strengthen bones, reducing the risk of fractures in the event of a fall.

The authors concluded vitamin D supplements are “likely to be clinically beneficial in deficiency but have little or no benefit for those who are replete in the vitamin”.

As a result, vitamin supplements are effective so long as the individual is deficient in the vitamin.

Overdosing on vitamin D can cause a build up of calcium in the body, weakening the bones and damaging the heart.

It is important to note while it is possible to overdose on vitamin D through supplements, it is impossible to overdose on vitamin D as a result of exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as:
• Salmon
• Sardines
• Herring
• Mackerel
• Red meat
• Liver
• Egg yolks
• Fortified foods.

Vitamin D received a spike in interest during the COVID-19 lockdowns when a theory arose about the vitamin’s efficacy against COVID-19.

After several in-depth studies it was found vitamin D could not be used as a preventative or reactive treatment for COVID-19, however it could be used to strengthen the immune system.

The vitamin D/Covid link was just one of many potential treatment avenues explored by health officials during the early stages of the pandemic.

Although other stories have taken centre stage, the pandemic still continues; COVID-19 is very much not over.

One source of evidence for this is the growing number of people with long Covid.

Figures from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) suggest over two million people in the UK suffer from the chronic condition.

So far, there are few effective treatments for the condition.

This is in part due to how new it is and how little scientists so far understand about the mechanics of the disease.

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