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Science Briefing

Vitamin D may be a lifesaver

August 16, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Adults with a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to die over a certain period than those with high levels, another indication of the nutrient's vital role in guarding against ailments from heart disease to cancer, U.S. researchers said Monday.

Several recent studies have shown that vitamin D may protect against heart disease, cancers of the colon and breast, diabetes and tuberculosis.

Those with the lowest levels of the "sunshine vitamin" had a 26% increased risk of death over eight years compared with those who had the highest levels, the researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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