Latest News » Study: Low levels of Vitamin D linked to cancer and heart disease

Vitamin D has found to be a strong barometer of overall health, with low levels linked to heart disease and cancer mortality risks.

Vitamin D, sometimes called "the sunshine nutrient," has long gone hand-in-hand with good health. While the body does produce vitamin D when out in the sun, this all-important nutrient can also be found in a variety of foods, including meat, dairy, fish and eggs. Just as high levels of vitamin D have been linked to good health, low levels have been found associated with poor health and diseases, and new research underscores that connection even more.

According to The New York Times, low levels of vitamin D have been found to be major risk factors for heart disease and cancer, a conclusion that was reached in two separate studies published last week. Dr. Oscar Franco and a team of scientists at universities including Harvard and Oxford determined that adults with low levels of vitamin D in their bodies had a greater overall risk of mortality, including being 35 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 14 percent more likely to die of cancer. 

Although the research was unable to conclude whether or not low vitamin D levels were caused by these diseases or were markers of other risk factors — like smoking and unhealthy diets — the findings overwhelmingly prove that vitamin D blood levels make for strong measurements of overall health and well-being.

"[Vitamin D] has effects at the genetic level, and it affects cardiovascular health and bone health," Dr. Franco said in one of the studies. "Vitamin D could be a good route to prevent mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes of mortality."

Dr. Franco's research also found that use of D3 vitamin supplements reduced these mortality risks by 11 percent. Click here for more information on International Nutrition's vitamin supplements and how they can help bolster vitamin D levels.