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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Alberta Researcher Shows Relationship between Vitamin D and Quality of Life

Dr. Paul Veugelers, professor in the University of Alberta School of Public Health, recently published research that shows that vitamin D has a correlation with Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL).


[Photo: Dr. Paul Veugelers]

Dr. Veugelers and fellow researchers studied HRQOL in seniors. In the study, recently published in Quality of Life Research, approximately 1,500 lifestyle counselling program participants had their blood drawn to assess vitamin D levels. They also answered a questionnaire to provide a self-assessment of five factors that are used to quantify health-related quality of life: their personal mobility, self-care, everyday activities, pain or discomfort, and anxiety and depression.

“By analyzing the data, we observed a clear relationship between higher vitamin D serum levels and a better quality of life,” says Dr. Veugelers.

Participants with lower serum 25(OH)D levels reported problems with mobility, everyday activities and depression and anxiety, Approximately 8 per cent of the participants had vitamin D levels below the Health Canada recommended level.

Dr. Veugelers cautioned that the low rate of vitamin D deficiency could be attributed to the fact that the study participants included self-selected volunteers who participated in a lifestyle counselling program.

Dr. Veugelers and his team are now assessing the effects of a vitamin D intervention and examining how much seniors will improve their quality of life when adding vitamin D supplements to their daily diets. But, for the time being, he recommends that seniors ensure they follow supplementation guidelines for vitamin D to increase their quality of life, among other things.

“Improving the vitamin D status has the potential to impact many areas of health, from bone health to chronic diseases to mental health,” says Dr. Veugelers. “As the first study to reveal the importance of vitamin D for the five dimensions of HRQOL in a community-based sample, it calls for intervention studies to strengthen the evidence of the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation for HRQOL among older adults.”

Journal article: