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Vitamin D and calcium are believed to boost the strength of your bones. But their benefits may go even further: A Danish study analyzing their effects on health now shows that these nutrients, taken together as supplements, may also improve your life expectancy.
“This is the largest study ever performed on the effects of calcium and vitamin D on mortality,” claims researcher Lars Rejnmark, Ph.D., of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. “Our results showed reduced mortality in elderly patients using vitamin D supplements in combination with calcium, but these results were not found in patients on vitamin D alone.”
In this study, researchers used pooled data from eight randomized controlled trials with more than 1,000 participants each. The patient data set was comprised of nearly 90 percent women, with a median age of 70. During the three-year study, death was reduced by 9 percent in those treated with vitamin D with calcium.
“Some studies have suggested calcium (with or without vitamin D) supplements can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health,” said Rejnmark. “Although our study does not rule out such effects, we found that calcium with vitamin D supplementation to elderly participants is overall not harmful to survival, and may have beneficial effects on general health.”