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Shedding light on the sunshine vitamin - why is vitamin D linked to so many health issues and how much of it do we actually need?

Shedding light on the sunshine vitamin  - why is vitamin D linked to so many health issues and how much of it do we actually need?

Sadly the article doesn't say how much Vitamin D we need, but given many of us report improvements in our well being after finding we need Vitamin D3 supplements to boost our Vitamin D into the normal range, I though this article would be of interest. There is obviously a great deal more we need to learn about the role of Vitamin D in our bodies!

"Professor Elina Hypponen has spent more than a decade examining the short and long-term health effects of vitamin D. Arriving in Adelaide recently from University College London in the United Kingdom, Prof Hypponen is now based at UniSA’s School of Population Health.



“The reason there are such wide-ranging health effects is that these vitamin D receptors are present throughout the body – they’re in most vital organs, they’re in different types of immune cells, they’re in your gut. If the receptor for a hormone exists in certain parts of the body, then you really need to start thinking about what it’s doing there." (Emphasis mine - Neil)



While much research has been done into the effects of low vitamin D status, Prof Hypponen is now turning her attention to the other end of spectrum – what happens when the body has high levels of vitamin D. Prof Hypponen says there is an emerging body of research that suggests high levels of vitamin D isn’t always a good thing.

“There is an expectation that higher vitamin D status is always better and that it will always lead to beneficial health outcomes but we are beginning to think that theory might not always hold true,” she says."

“That’s where I would like to take my work next – I’d like to see if we can obtain evidence about when we move to the higher end of the vitamin D status scale to see whether there is any evidence to suggest potential adverse effects. I’d like to find out how high is it safe to go.”

Full article:

Some previous posts on Vitamin D:

Mayo Clinic Vitamin D3 Study

Vitamin D3 and Respiratory Tract infections

Vitamin D and Green Tea

Chris/CLLCanada has elsewhere mentioned 'the Copenhagen study, and they are talking about Serum 25(OH)D from 247 574 ...

Ultimately the study shows a 'sweet spot' for cardiovascular disease mortality...

A Reverse J-Shaped Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: The CopD Study'


Photo: I recently saw this Dusky Moorhen building a nest on a fallen branch in the middle of a nearby waterway while ignoring the passing traffic. When I checked back yesterday, she was sitting on the nest and wouldn't budge for some of my sandwich.

10 Replies

I have been taking over the counter Vitamin D tablets since I my daughter was advised to take them after she had a malignant melanoma excised. I had also read an article saying it was of benefit to cancer patients.

Last week when seeing my doctor about an unrelated issue, I asked to have my vitamin D and B12 levels checked as it seems pointless to keep taking vitamins unnecessarily. When I told her I take an iron with multivitamins another box on the testing envelope was ticked. This morning I visited to have the bloods taken, and was a bit astonished to lose 5 vials of the red stuff.

It will be interesting in view of this post to see if my levels justify taking these vitamins, or what level is considered normal.



For CLLers the major VITD3 trial of interest will be this one.

'To determine if vitamin D replacement in vitamin D insufficient patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) being managed with observation can improve the percentage of patients requiring treatment with conventional therapy at 36 months to that of a control population of vitamin D sufficient patients. '

Stay tuned ... results are still about 3 years away...


Thanks Chris, interesting trial.


It will be interesting to see the results. My primary tests my vitamin d and started me on a supplement for bone health, as my level was very low. My neighbor, who does not have any cancers, was shocked when her primary's comment looking at her x rays was, " How pretty, so lacy." When she asked what she was commenting on she was told that it was her bones. We started supplements at the same time.


A French review of 462 Vitamin D studies involving more than a million adults which was recently reported in "The Lancet" claims that analysis of these historical studies shows there is little benefit for healthy people taking Vitamin D supplements:

Some interesting comments in the above article:

"But the French researchers now suspect that, rather than vitamin D deficiency leading to disease, these illnesses stop the body from producing vitamin D, so sufferers have lower levels."

Obviously, we'll need to conduct some trials to test this theory and the Mayo study Chris refrenced above might answer it for CLL patients. Perhaps CLL slows the body's ability to produce Vitamin D?

"Professor Peter Selby, honorary clinical professor of metabolic bone disease at Manchester Royal Infirmary, said: ‘One problem with this sort of systematic review is that it can only examine the studies which have been published previously, so it is limited by the level of vitamin D in subjects in these studies.

‘It could very well be that the apparent negative results of this study have been obtained simply because they have not been looking at people with a sufficient degree of vitamin D insufficiency to have any meaningful biological effect.’"



Vitamin D Levels, Hospital Infections Linked

Published: Nov 27, 2013 | Updated: Dec 1, 2013

Preoperative vitamin D blood levels were significantly and inversely associated with risk for hospital-acquired infections after gastric bypass surgery, researchers found.

Among obese patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels lower than 30 ng/mL, there was a three-fold risk for a hospital-acquired infection after surgery versus patients whose vitamin D levels were 30 ng/mL or higher (adjusted odds ratio 3.05, 95% CI 1.34-6.94, according toSadeq Quraishi, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, and colleagues.

This association did not "materially change" when adjusted for perioperative factors, they wrote online in JAMA Surgery.

Low serum vitamin D has been tied to risk of hip osteoarthritis in older men andincreased odds of heart failure versus those with normal serum levels, while elevated concentrations have been associated with decreased risk for ear infection in children.

However, these associations have not supported vitamin D supplementation in most patients. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Institute of Medicine have each said that such supplementation is unnecessary.

The authors noted that vitamin D insufficiency "may be as high as 70% to 80% in bariatric surgery patients," while rates of surgical site infections are as high as 10% among Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery patients in laparoscopic procedures and as high as 25% among open abdominal surgery.

They studied the association between hospital-acquired infections and vitamin D serum concentration in a population of 770 Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery patients treated at MGH.

Patient data was gathered through the hospital's research patient data registry.

Vitamin D concentrations "are routinely measured in individuals scheduled to undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery" at the site during a preoperative nutrition assessment, the authors stated.

Hospital-acquired infections included surgical site infection, catheter-related urinary tract infection, pneumonia, and bacteremia more than 48 hours after hospital admission and within 30 days of surgery.

Outcomes were adjusted for age, sex, race, body mass index, physical status, medical comorbidities, date of admission, type of surgery, use of neuraxial anesthesia, timely administration of prophylactic antibiotics, duration of general anesthesia, intraoperative fluid balance, intraoperative temperature nadir, intraoperative fraction of inspired oxygen concentration, perioperative blood transfusions, preoperative levels of nutritional markers, and preoperative daily vitamin D supplementation.

Comorbidities included hypertension, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nutritional markers included hemoglobin A1c, iron, ferritin, hemoglobin, albumin, thiamine, parathyroid hormone, and calcium.

The overall rate of hospital-acquired infection was 5.3%, the rate of surgical site infection was 2.6%, and the overall prevalence of low vitamin D in the cohort was 58%.

There were no substantial baseline differences between patients with hospital-acquired infections and those without infection, other than vitamin D concentration and a higher rate of open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures among those who developed an infection.

Patients with low vitamin D also had a greater than four-fold increased risk for surgical site infection (aOR 4.14, 95% CI 1.16-14.83). Although associations were very slightly attenuated through a sensitivity analysis, odds of hospital-acquired infection were still three-fold, while odds of a surgical site infection were 3.93-fold. This changed to 2.91-fold odds (95% CI 1.25-6.76) and 4.32-fold odds (95% CI 1.16-16.17), respectively, in a fully-adjusted multivariable logistic regression analysis.

The authors noted the study was limited by a lower baseline risk for surgical site infection, lower-than-average prevalence of hospital acquired infections, a population limited to obese adults undergoing gastric bypass surgery versus a random sample, and lack of association between procedure and other nosocomial infections. Additionally, the analysis was done at a single center and was conducted retrospectively.

They concluded that "these results suggest that preoperative [vitamin D] levels may be a modifiable risk factor for postoperative nosocomial infections. Prospective studies must determine whether there is a potential benefit to preoperative optimization of vitamin D status."



Hi Neil, just wandering around reading old posts and say this fabulous picture of these Dusky Moor Hens!!

They are beautiful and how lucky you are to have captured this nature pic !


I was hoping to follow up with photos of a brood of chicks, but shortly after I took that photo, we had some heavy rain and the nest was inundated...


Ahhh, that's sad. I remember when we blamed the Russians for bad weather(a joke really) now of course it's global warming. Seems like every one every where has a story to tell about the change in weather. Here in California we're having the worst drought ever recorded. Neighbors are letting their lawn go brown, cutting back on landscape, one of our neighbors had an organic garden and would sell their wonderful tasty vegetables but the cost of water is in tiers and too expensive to grow to sell, so this year they grow for themselves. We all have large properties with livestock, horses etc. that require a good amount of water. My horses have been going through 55 gal barrels of water in 1 1/2 days each. There are predators in higher numbers coming in for water, my property is safe since I have 3 very large guardian livestock dogs, except for venomous snakes etc, and we've seen an increase in the number of scorpions. I absolutely hate the look of a scorpion. The Hispanics seem to have jars of scorpions, scorpions resined on counter tops and scorpion logos every where along with their mascot the chivo ( goat).

Been trying to ride by 6 am since the heat has been in the upper 90s to low 100s. I always were protective gear when I ride so the heat is wretched for me at times. I wear the protective gear because I'm smart and any rider can get thrown, we also have very rocky terrain with large boulders, hills with huge peaks and troughs. My neighbor was bucked off and landed on his back on a small boulder breaking his back in 2 places. Few of my friends even ride with a helmet, their thinking is their horse is so good quiet and calm, where my horses are a wee bit bouncy at times. But I can quarantee if a rattler bites their horse they will be in for a rocky ride. I've ridden many different disciplines and it never fails some rider ends up with a concussion or bruises or broken bones. Any way.........

I forgot the word you used when signing off... huhwuh ?

So how about .....ciao baby


In addition to the previous post (referenced) concerning an increased cardiovascular risk from high vitamin D serum level; here's another indication that too much vitamin D is not risk free - 'Oral vitamin D intake was not associated with any protective effect against skin cancer development including melanoma, despite findings of previous studies, according to data taken from two large population cohort studies. However, increased intake of vitamin D was associated with a greater risk for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin. The results of this latest study were published in PLOS One.' :

Vitamin D levels and cardiovascular health:



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