(HealthDay News) – Familial longevity seems to correlate with lower levels of vitamin D.

In an effort to determine whether vitamin D levels are related to longevity, Raymond Noordam, of the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted the Leiden Longevity Study in which they measured levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in 1,038 offspring of nonagenarians with a least one nonagenarian sibling, and in the offspring’s partners (461 controls).

The researchers found that, compared with controls, offspring of nonagenarians with at least one nonagenarian sibling had significantly lower levels of vitamin D, independent of potential confounders, including age, sex, body mass index, month of blood sampling, vitamin D intake, and creatinine levels. There was no difference between the groups in the level of parathyroid hormone. Compared with controls, the offspring of nonagenarians had a lower frequency of the genetic variant rs2060793 in the CYP2R1 gene, which predisposes to high vitamin D levels. In the two most prevalent genotypes of the single nucleotide polymorphism, the difference in vitamin D levels persisted between offspring and controls.

“We found that familial longevity was associated with lower levels of vitamin D and a lower frequency of allelic variation in the CYP2R1 gene, which was associated with higher levels of vitamin D,” the authors write. “These results cast doubt on the causal nature of previously reported associations between low levels of vitamin D and age-related diseases and mortality.”

Full Text