In a Cochrane systematic review of placebo-controlled randomized trials assessing the effect of vitamin D (vitamin D3, vitamin D2 or an active form of vitamin D, calcitriol) at any dose, duration, and route of administration on prevention of mortality, 50 trials involving 94,148 subjects were included in the analysis. Most of the trials involved elderly women (over 70 years of age) and vitamin D was administered for a median 2 years. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) was found to significantly decrease mortality (RR=0.94), while vitamin D2, alfacalcidol, and calcitriol did not have such an effect. The authors conclude, “Vitamin D in the form of vitamin D(3) seems to decrease mortality in predominantly elderly women who are mainly in institutions and dependent care.”
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