Calcium Plus Vitamin D May Extend Life
New research suggests that calcium, when taken in combination with vitamin D, may extend the lives of seniors ages 70 and older. Studies have found that these two nutrients work together to yield various health benefits for individuals of all ages, and aging individuals may benefit more particularly from the combination.
Benefits of Calcium Plus Vitamin D for the Elderly:
- Reduces risk of osteoporotic fractures
- Reduces risk of death from osteoporosis
These conclusions are based on a study which included over 70,000 elderly individuals who were given either a calcium plus vitamin D supplement or a vitamin D supplement alone. The study spanned three years and determined that taking vitamin D alone did not affect the mortality rate, however taking the two nutrients in combination reduced mortality rates by about 9%. Additionally, other studies have shown that people who have sufficient levels of vitamin D have about a 7% lower risk of mortality.
Interestingly, the reduced risk of death in those who took calcium plus vitamin D was not attributed to fewer occurrences of bone fractures. The research implied that this combination has more significant potential beyond bolstering bone health.
Benefits of Calcium Plus Vitamin D:
- May improve cell function
- May improve cardiovascular health
- Preserves bone health
- Improves muscle strength
- May lower the risk of certain cancers
- May lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
- May reduce the risk of infectious disease
Dosage and Benefits
While calcium taken alone, without the combination of other nutrients, can be dangerous and even increase the risk of heart attack, when taken in the proper dosage and with appropriate levels of vitamin D, it can support many areas of health and therefore promote longevity. The recommended adult dosage of vitamin D, sourced from both diet and supplements together, is about 1500 to 2000 IUs per day and 1000 to 12000 mg of calcium. If too low a dosage is taken, the nutrients will not produce beneficial results. It is important to get the correct amount of both in order to support functioning at an optimal level.