The higher the level of Vitamin D and/or Vitamin C the lower the risk of dying in the elderly

August 30, 2007

In this study 208 men and 191 women 75 years of age in 1999-2000 were followed on average for 70 months; none of these seniors were living in institutions but still lived in their community. Blood samples were used to test the level of various nutrients in their blood; Iron, B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D (the active form). Having lower levels of Vitamin D increased the risk of dying over the study period with ever increasing serum levels related to a steadily declining risk of dying. For Vitamin C it was either pass or fail; those with the most had a decreased risk of dying versus those with the least and there was little in between; you had to have the most. There was a significantly increased risk of dying when comparing those with the highest levels vs. those with the lowest level of Vitamin C in their plasma. The study was performed at the University of Aberdeen and is published in the September 2007 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

Higher intake of Carotenoids can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer

Epithelial ovarian cancer first occurs in the cells lining the ovaries and most cases of ovarian cancer start this way. In this Australian study women with ovarian cancer (254 patients) were compared to women without it (652 age matched women). Alpha-carotene reduced the risk of this cancer by 61%, Beta-carotene by 49%, Beta-Cryptoxanthin by 55% (this is also a carotenoid), and Lutein and Zeaxanthin decreased the risk by 55%, with total levels of the combination of carotenoids decreasing the risk by 67%. The researchers from the University of Western Australia and from Curtin University of Technology conclude that a higher intake of carotenoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. The study is published in the July 2007 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.