There’s been a great deal of buzz lately about how vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t all that great after all. Obviously, they’re no substitute for a good diet. you can’t just eat nutrient-poor food all day, pop a multivitamin, and expect to be the picture of health. However, I’m still not convinced that they’re not beneficial for those of us who consume healthy diets that may just be a little low in some nutrients on occasion.
One study in particular caught my eye: Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in familial longevity: the Leiden Longevity Study. This study looked at the vitamin D levels in the children of nonagenarians (i.e. people in their nineties) and compared their vitamin D levels to those of children of non-nonagenarians. They found that the children of nonagenarians had lower levels of vitamin D than the controls did. Seriously? Without even looking closely at the methodology and results of this study I can fairly confidently say that this is a terrible study. How does research like this even get published? Just because these people have at least one parent who lived into their nineties doesn’t mean that they themselves are going to live into their nineties. Also, it’s possible that higher levels of vitamin D may not affect your lifespan but they may affect your healthspan. Just because a person has survived into their nineties doesn’t mean that they’ve been healthy enough to enjoy all of those years.
I’m not taking vitamin D supplements to try to live into my nineties. I don’t think anyone should be. However, many of us may wish to take vitamin D supplements to avoid negative effects of deficiency, maintain strong bones, and obtain other possible health benefits.