Vitamin D supplements could prolong your life, a new European study suggests.
"The intake of usual doses of vitamin D seems to decrease mortality from any cause of death," said lead researcher Dr. Philippe Autier of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.The new finding, published in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, is a bit of an anomaly, because the benefits of vitamin supplements remain uncertain at best.
Although they often are touted as a means of reducing risks for cancer and heart disease, some studies have found supplements have no effect on these conditions.
For example, other studies have shown that vitamin E has no effect on cancer, Autier said. And prior research suggests that multivitamin supplements do nothing to reduce cancer risk, he added.
But vitamin D may be the exception, according to the results of this new study, which showed a 7 percent difference in the death rate.
"This is the first study that shows that taking one vitamin has an impact on mortality," Autier said. "If you want to increase your vitamin D intake by taking supplements, it looks like a great idea."
Autier believes people should take vitamin D supplements in the range of 400 to 600 IUs daily but no more.