People with chronic kidney disease may lower their risk of death by 25 percent if they take vitamin D, say researchers from the University of Washington.
In this new study, 1,418 people with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease were assigned to two groups. One group received vitamin D in the form of calcitriol; the other group didn't receive the vitamin.
After two years, taking vitamin D (as calcitriol) reduced the risk of death from chronic kidney disease by 26 percent. Taking vitamin D also reduced the need for dialysis and lowered overall death rates by 20 percent.
Scientists believe vitamin D decreases inflammation and improves glucose tolerance of kidney disease sufferers. Improved glucose tolerance means that insulin production is stabilized. Stable insulin levels translate in to improved kidney function and overall health.
Major causes of kidney disease include type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, two million Canadians have or are at risk of kidney disease.
This study was published online in the May 7, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
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