The Cochrane Collaboration is an organization that produces “reviews” of studies from around the world on various topics. In effect, these reviews combine the results of multiple studies in an attempt to better understand the results and draw valid medial conclusions from them. They also evaluate the design and procedures of the studies and will eliminate certain ones from inclusion if the study design is poor, if there is bias in the study or for other reasons. In other words, they work to get rid of information where misconceptions or misrepresentations exist in the medical literature.
A recent review that they published on-line looks at the potential prevention of all-cause mortality in adults using vitamin D supplementation. What they found is interesting to me in 2 areas.
First of all, they found that supplementation with Vitamin D-3 did lower mortality by 6%. It is pretty staggering to me that we now have valid medical evidence that by taking a simple, inexpensive supplement you can have a reasonable chance to live longer. What is not addressed in this review is the amount of supplementation and/or the Vitamin D blood levels needed to attain that goal. I would surmise that attaining 25 (OH) Vitamin D blood levels of 60 or higher would actually result in better than just a 6% decrease in mortality!
Secondly, and REALLY INTERESTING, is that vitamin D-2, the synthetic form, was found to have no effect or a negative effect on mortality. This is really important to note. Research indicates that the natural Vitamin D-3 is nearly 90% more effective at maintaining Vitamin D concentrations and encourages 2-3 times more storage in the body. Also, Vitamin D-3 is converted into the active form 5 times quicker than D-2.
The reason this is so important to understand is that the prescription form of Vitamin D is the synthetic, Vitamin D-2. I say shame on any MD that is writing prescriptions for this for their patients.
The bottom line is this… what I care about is funeral rates. Just changing a number on a blood test is not good enough for me – I want to know that what I do, and recommend for folks, is likely to help them live longer, more productive and enjoyable lives. Taking Vitamin D-3 is one simple step that should result in that goal. To learn more about Vitamin D-3 and how important it is to health and prevention of practically every chronic disease, give a listen to one of my recent webinars.