A study published in the British Medical Journal indicates low levels of vitamin D are attributable to a number of serious illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The new study contradicts earlier studies published by the BMJ that claim there is insufficient evidence to support the claim the vitamin is beneficial to health.

In January of last year research led by Dr. Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland in New Zealand suggested vitamin D supplements are not likely to reduce incidence of certain conditions, such as heart attack, heart disease, stroke, cancer and bone fractures, Medical News Today reported.

Additionally, researchers from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon wrote for The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology said they were unable to replicate results reached by researchers claiming the vitamin addressed numerous medical conditions, including anemia, depression, pain and brain damage.

The most recent study analyzed data from eight population-based studies from Europe and the US involving 26,018 participants between the ages of 50 and 79.

“The team set out to determine whether there was an association between vitamin D deficiency and deaths from all-causes, CVD and cancer,” the MNT reported.

“The team found a link between participants with the lowest vitamin D levels – as determined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in blood – and death from CVD. This association was found in participants with and without a history of the disease.

“The team also found an association between low vitamin D levels and death from cancer among participants with a history of the disease. However, no such association was found among participants without a history of cancer, the researchers say, which indicates that vitamin D may be important in cancer prognosis.”

In addition to cancer and other serious diseases, British researchers discovered a correlation between low vitamin D levels and poorer function and mood in first-onset psychosis patients after the first year, MedPage Today reports.

“Vitamin D levels are extremely low at all stages of psychosis,” the researchers wrote. “Low vitamin D is linked to quality of life, mood, and cardiometabolic risk in established psychosis and highlights the need for holistic management of psychosis.”

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