Blood vitamin D levels can predict future health problems and possible causes of death

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Blood vitamin D levels can help and predict future health risks. This was revealed by a study presented at e-ECE 2020

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Blood vitamin D levels can help predict future health risks and even possible causes of death. This was revealed by a study presented at e-ECE 2020, the congress of the European Society of Endocrinology.





In recent times, Vitamin D, notoriously a precious ally of our health, has returned to the center of research in relation to the coronavirus and its confirmed ability to reduce the risk of lethality of Covid-19.

Now, new international research, which also included scientists from the University of Florence, has found that the levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood can help predict health risks in older men.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in Europe, especially in the elderly. It is associated with a higher risk of developing a number of aging-related disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. However, there are several forms, or metabolites, of vitamin D in the body. To assess the status of vitamin D, the total amount of these metabolites is very often considered.

It must also be said that 99% of the metabolites are bound to proteins, so only a very small fraction is free to be biologically active. Precisely these forms can help not only to know the present state of health but also to predict the future one.

Notably, for the study authors, the free form of vitamin D circulating in the blood is a more accurate predictor of health and disease risk than the often measured total vitamin D. The research considered 1970 men between the ages of 40 and 79, who took part in the European Male Aging Study (EMAS) between 2003 and 2005. Based on the data collected in the Emas study, Dr. Leen Antonio dell ' University Hospital of Leuven in Belgium and a team of colleagues set out to show whether the free metabolites of vitamin D were better predictors of health.


Taking into account total and free Vitamin D levels, current health status, and other factors including age, body mass index, smoking and claimed health, the researchers found that total levels of both free and related were associated with a higher risk of death. However, only the free form, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, was predictive of future health problems.


“Most studies focus on the association between total 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and age-related disease and mortality. Our data now suggests that both total and free levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are the best measure of future health risk in men, ”said Dr. Antonio.

As this is an observational study, the causal relationships and underlying mechanisms still remain unknown. Furthermore, it was not possible to obtain specific information on the causes of death of the men in the study but there is no doubt that the research has the merit of demonstrating how important vitamin D is for our health, at any age.

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Sources of reference: Eurekalert

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