Recent studies have shown vitamin D may protect against a host of ailments ranging from heart disease to cancer.
But this new study shows people with the lowest levels of the vitamin had a 26 percent increased risk of death compared to those with the highest levels.
New York researchers studied more than 13,000 people for an average of 8.7 years.
They found a vitamin D deficiency was linked to fatal heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and it's also found in fatty, fish like salmon.
The findings are published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.