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Study: Vitamin D Deficiencies Can Be Deadly

Vitamin D deficiencies can increase a person's risk of death, according to a fresh study at the University of Eastern Finland. Researchers say individuals with low levels of vitamin D are about twice as likely to die early compared to those with higher levels. The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers studied the effects of vitamin D on over 1,000 people between the ages of 53 and 73 who did not suffer from cancer or vascular diseases. The subjects were monitored for an average of nine years. A total of 87 of the participants died during the course of the study.

Sixty-five percent of the subjects were found to have low levels of vitamin D. According to the study, a dearth of vitamin D increases the risk of chronic diseases.

During the summer months in Finland, humans are able to obtain vitamin D from exposure to the sun. However, persons living in Finland must rely on vitamin D from food or supplements during the darker months of the year.

The University of Eastern Finland is now planning a large-scale project to study the effects of vitamin D supplements on cardiovascular diseases and cancer.