Vitamin D + calcium = longevity

Researchers writing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology found that older people who were given Vitamin D and Calcium together were 9 per cent less likely to die over three years than those given placebo pills. Vitamin D alone had no impact on death rates. A 9 per cent dip in death risk over a three year period might sound small, but lead researcher Lars Rejnmark said that effect is “at least as pronounced as the bene­fits linked to cholesterol lowering statins and blood pressure drugs.

Clinical trials performed by Rejnmark
Except for stopping smoking, there are not many other known interventions that are capable (of) such a reduction in the risk of death.  Rejnmark and his colleagues combined the results from eight clinical trials that involved more than 70,000 older adults, mostly women.

Doses of Vitamin D and Calcium
In each trial, people were randomly assigned to take vitamin D or a placebo. Some studies used a combination of vitamin D and calcium.The doses varied, but most trials used a daily vitamin D dose of 10 to 20 micrograms. In the United States, health of­ officials suggest that most adults get 15 micrograms (or 600 IU) of vitamin D per day, while people older than 70 should aim to get 20 micrograms (or 800 IU).  In trials that used calcium, the dose was 1,000 milligrams per day.

Reduces the risk of cancer
In general, women older than 50, and everyone over 70, are told to get 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day.  There is a possibility is that the supplements curbed people’s risk of dying from cancer. Rejnmark said there’s some evidence that calcium and vitamin D may lower the odds of colon cancer, but the evidence is not yet firm.
For now, he said, the ­findings supported getting the recommended amounts of vitamin D and calcium. http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2012/05/17/jc.2011-3328