Vitamin D

Another article I've nicked, this time from Natural News. I consider Vitamin D to be important in my drug regime, mainly in my defence against respiratory infections. I take vit D3 every day in tablet form instead of as part of a multivitamin tablet or capsule. Multivitamins contain trace metals that can interfere with the take up of some antibiotics. Link to the original article is:

naturalnews.com/035089_vita...

Friday, February 10, 2012 by: Aurora Geib

(NaturalNews) Taking vitamin D while still young may be good for the body in the long run. Results from a study conducted by the University of Zurich have confirmed that sufficient amounts of vitamin D taken consistently are necessary to maintain bone health.

Many people believe that maintaining healthy eating habits is enough, but only few foods naturally contain significant levels of vitamin D. According to Dr. Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, a faculty of UZH, in order to get adequate levels of vitamin D through diet alone, two servings of fatty fish like salmon or mackerel would have to be consumed every day. It is thus necessary to increase vitamin D levels in the body through sufficient sun exposure and supplementation in order to use the sunshine vitamin's full potential for maintaining proper body functioning.

This misconception about maintaining D levels through diet does have a degree of ground since vitamin D is not a stand alone vitamin. To perform many functions, vitamin D works in cooperation with other vitamins like magnesium, which can be found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach. This unique characteristic of vitamin D has contributed to the management of many chronic illnesses.

The many faces of vitamin D

Decades ago, health care professionals thought vitamin D was only good for keeping healthy bones and teeth. Recent advances in science, however, have put this vitamin in the spotlight by revealing its multifaceted role in the proper functioning of the human body and its ability to lower the risk of illnesses not formerly associated with it.

Despite the recent revelations about the potential of vitamin D, it appears that not everyone appreciates this discovery. The current lifestyle of working indoors has contributed to the growing number of vitamin D deficiency cases worldwide. This is compounded by the fact that not everyone is aware that he or she may be vitamin D deficient.

Am I vitamin D deficient?

The best way to discover vitamin D deficiency is to take a blood test that will measure the level of the vitamin in your blood. You can either ask your doctor to administer the test or buy a home test kit do the test yourself. However, you are certainly vitamin D deficient if you have any of the following ailments, and you need to consult with your doctor regarding your preventive, as well as curative, options as soon as possible.

1.) The flu - In a study published in the Cambridge Journals, it was discovered that vitamin D deficiency predisposes children to respiratory diseases. An intervention study conducted showed that vitamin D reduces the incidence of respiratory infections in children.

2.) Muscle weakness - According to Michael F. Holick, a leading vitamin D expert, muscle weakness is usually caused by vitamin D deficiency because for skeletal muscles to function properly, their vitamin D receptors must be sustained by vitamin D.

3.) Psoriasis - In a study published by the UK PubMed central, it was discovered that synthetic vitamin D analogues were found useful in the treatment of psoriasis.

4.) Chronic kidney disease - According to Holick, patients with advanced chronic kidney diseases (especially those requiring dialysis) are unable to make the active form of vitamin D. These individuals need to take 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or one of its calcemic analogues to support calcium metabolism, decrease the risk of renal bone disease and regulate parathyroid hormone levels.

5.) Diabetes - A study conducted in Finland was featured in Lancet.com in which 10,366 children were given 2000 international units (IU)/day of vitamin D3 per day during their first day of life. The children were monitored for 31 years and in all of them, the risk of type 1 diabetes was reduced by 80 percent.

6.) Asthma - Vitamin D may reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Research conducted in Japan revealed that asthma attacks in school children were significantly lowered in those subjects taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 1200 IU a day.

7.) Periodontal disease - Those suffering from this chronic gum disease that causes swelling and bleeding gums should consider raising their vitamin D levels to produce defensins and cathelicidin, compounds that contain microbial properties and lower the number of bacteria in the mouth.

8.) Cardiovascular disease - Congestive heart failure is associated with vitamin D deficiency. Research conducted at Harvard University among nurses found that women with low vitamin D levels (17 ng/m [42 nmol/L]) had a 67 percent increased risk of developing hypertension.

9.) Schizophrenia and Depression - These disorders have been linked to vitamin D deficiency. In a study, it was discovered that maintaining sufficient vitamin D among pregnant women and during childhood was necessary to satisfy the vitamin D receptor in the brain integral for brain development and mental function maintenance in later life.

10.) Cancer - Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC discovered a connection between high vitamin D intake and reduced risk of breast cancer. These findings, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, revealed that increased doses of the sunshine vitamin were linked to a 75 percent reduction in overall cancer growth and 50 percent reduction in tumor cases among those already having the disease. Of interest was the capacity of vitamin supplementation to help control the development and growth of breast cancer specially estrogen-sensitive breast cancer.

Prevention is proactive

These various health conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency need not be something to fear. A proactive approach to prevention can assist in the avoidance of the many chronic diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency. For one, thousands of dollars can be saved, not to mention the peace of mind, simply at the cost of taking a walk under the sun. Save the umbrellas for the rainy days.

Sources for this article:

foxnews.com/story/0,2933,51...

journals.cambridge.org

vitamindcouncil.com

naturalnews.com/032222_brea...

If you have questions about issues raised within this article, take advice from your doctor, or ring the BLF Helpline, or simply ask here.

Breathe easy

johnwr

12 Replies

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  • There is a lot of evidence. It is certainly recommended for osteoporosis but an important point is that some exposure to sunlight is essential to convert it.

    Lynne xx

  • Hi Lynne,

    Interesting Lynne, do you have a link that explains this?

  • I have been taking vitamin D on and off for a few years now, and I certainly notice the difference in my lung health if I have not taken it for a couple of weeks( i forget to take it when i feel well!)

    We just don't get enough sunlight in this country, (only between May and Sept if we are lucky enough for it not to be raining).

    My husband even notices the difference it makes to me enough for him so start taking it himself - we also give it to the kids if there are colds about .

  • i predicted there would be a lot more winter illness than usual this past season owing to the bad summer and lack of sunshine leaving very many low on vitamin D. As copd'ers our natural enemy is a lung infection, and often these turn into a pnumonia. We have low immune systems. I have banged on about the benifits of vitamin D in my blog for a few years now after reading a little known research paper into copd and vitamin D. It does not get you better but builds up your immune system so you are less likely to get a lung infection, which in turn does more damage to already damaged and compromised lungs. I have taken 5,000iu of vitamin D for three years now. No damage to me but the benifits of a better immune system is obvious. As always the choice is yours. It is your health. But vitamin D is both cheap and plentiful. My wife has now followed me and takes the same. Last winter she did not even have a cold.

  • Thank you John, I will put it on my shopping list! Perhaps a SAD lamp as well! oh what's this...I think that big yellow ball is back in the sky at last! Happy Easter everyone! x

  • This is the link littlecamellia asked about. I couldn't do it as a reply, for some reason

    nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealt...

    Lynne xx

  • thank you Lynne, I'll read that too. Happy Easter break. P

  • Hello, I was interested in this blog as my wife has osteoporosis and takes a monthly high dose vitamin d capsule. She is more or less housebound so gets hardly any vit d from exposure to sunlight. I've read your link though, but can't see where it says you need sunlight along with vit d supplements - did you send the correct link? George

  • Hi. It says that the body can only produce its own Vitamin D with sunlight. In winter, you need added vitamins in tablet form and these don't need the sunlight. My mother, aunt and now my sister had/have osteoporosis. I am currently borderline but I have been on HRT which protects, but I am coming off that now.

    My sister has learned that some of the available medications carry high risks for strokes, heart attacks etc. so natural remedies are best where possible.

    There is no easy answer with that condition it seems.

    Lynnexx

  • That was fast thanks! I'm sorry - thought you were talking about having to have exposure to the sun when you take vitamin d supplements (when you said it's recommended for osteoporosis). Yes, of course, sunlight is essential for the production of natural vitamin d. George

  • Thanks forspreading the word. I already take extra vit D3 amongst my daily dish of extras.

    I'm a great believer in a balanced diet but sadly, now that our food is so mass produced plus the fact that our soils are depleted means that it's no longer enough. P

  • Hi John, yes that article was interesting.I am on high amounts of vitamin d daily.for the last 4 years.Through blood tests that an endocrinologist did,I was lacking in vitamin d,as well as being severely depleted of b12.which I now have monthly injections for now,after having weekly ones for sometime.That unfortunately led me to having peripheral neuropathy,in the feet & hands.

    I was so lucky he did the tests,as well as being an endo,he is a lung specialist,whom I was put onto,therefor had tests that I never had before,better late than never I guess.

    The other thing I wanted to mention was that I live in sunny Qld.& was constantly in the sun!!

    Cheers Wendells xx

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