Trying to live longer and healthier? Take Vitamin D and calcium. According to research, taking these vitamins will help to reduce your mortality risks especially by reducing your risk of hip fracture.
Vitamin D is all the rage now – especially as we head out of summer and into the fall season. For many parts of the United States, autumn means gray clouds, rainy skies, and little chance of sunshine. If you weren’t playing outside this summer, there is a good chance you don’t have enough vitamin D.
Calcium is an interesting mineral as it absorbs better by adding vitamin D (as well as magnesium). Many women take 1000 to 1500mg of calcium everyday but may not be absorbing that much of it. If you are lactose intolerant or dairy sensitive, then you aren’t getting the calcium you need either.
This research saw that women who took vitamin D and calcium together had a lowered mortality risk, especially in older individuals. They thought at first this was due to the bone building effects causing less fall and fracture risk; however this was only a partial answer.
There are vitamin D receptors all over the body which helps to lower blood pressure, improve mood, reduce cardiovascular events, provide cancer protection, and ease muscle pain and more. Calcium is really important for bone health and muscle contractility, especially in your heart. Add all of these up and you lower your mortality risk due to prevention.
Calcium levels are tightly regulated by your body so if your lab markers for calcium come back as “within range” it may be because you are depleting it from your bones into your blood. If you don’t eat calcium rich foods (and it doesn’t have to be dairy), then you should consider taking a calcium supplement that is a blend of citrate/malate/carbonate. Calcium carbonate is by far the cheapest however many women have a difficult time absorbing it hence the need for a blend.
Vitamin D levels are considered normal above 30ng/ml however many health care providers prefer levels above 50ng/ml and below 100ng/ml. Most multi-vitamins do not provide enough to improve your numbers any great extent and you may require extra vitamin D supplementation such as 2000 IU each day. Have your numbers tested to see where you fall.
Abrahamsen B. American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 31st Annual Meeting: Abstract 1028. Presented September 12, 2009