Two new studies find problems when vitamin D levels are low. From Science Daily:
Low vitamin D levels linked to increased risks after noncardiac surgery
Patients with low blood levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of death and serious complications after noncardiac surgery, suggests a study. The researchers analyzed the relationship between vitamin D level and surgical outcomes in approximately 3,500 patients who underwent operations other than heart surgery between 2005 and 2011. Only patients who had available data on vitamin D levels around the time of surgery -- from three months before to one month afterward -- were included in the study.
Most patients did not meet the recommended 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of greater than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The median vitamin D level was 23.5 ng/mL -- more than 60 percent of patients were in the range of vitamin D insufficiency (10 to 30 ng/mL). Nearly 20 percent had vitamin D deficiency (less than 10 ng/mL).
"Higher vitamin D concentrations were associated with decreased odds of in-hospital mortality/morbidity," the researchers write. For each 5 ng/mL increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, the combined risk of death, cardiovascular events, or serious infections decreased by seven percent.
From Science Daily:
Vitamin D deficiency may reduce pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF
Women with a vitamin D deficiency were nearly half as likely to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) as women who had sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study. Long known for its role in bone health, vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is emerging as a factor in fertility.
Women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were nearly twice as likely to conceive as their counterparts with vitamin D deficiency. Since women with sufficient levels of the hormone were more likely to produce top-quality embryos, researchers theorized vitamin D was involved in the production of quality eggs in the ovaries as well as the successful implantation of embryos in the uterus.