Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a a public health crisis of epidemic proportions! A study published in the July, 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a jaw-dropping 59 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient. In addition, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D.
Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and foods that are fortified with vitamin D are often inadequate to satisfy either a child’s or an adult’s vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D is found in small amounts in some foods, such as milk, eggs, fish, and fortified orange juice — but the most important, natural source of vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.
Being that we have become an industrialized society, meaning most of us work indoors during the peak hours of sun exposure, most of us do not get enough sun exposure to generate adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Also, the latitude where you live can affect whether or not you receive Vitamin D from the sun in winter months.
For instance, I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and during the months of Nov to March, I cannot generate adequate Vitamin D levels from sun exposure!
I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and during the months of Nov to March, I cannot generate adequate Vitamin D levels from sun exposure!
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is now recognized by traditional and natural doctors alike as one of the most powerful, inexpensive ways to prevent disease.
Vitamin D influences over 2,000 of the 30,000 genes in the body, which explains why it has been found to inhibit the onset and spread of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis, and more.
Beyond cancer, increasing levels of vitamin D could prevent many common diseases. Studies now link this miraculous Vitamin D to the prevention of many debilitating conditions including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Immune System Disease
- Neurological Disorders
- Kidney Failure
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
With the current amount of research being done on this wonder nutrient it is likely that Vitamin D and it’s healing influence over even more diseases will be discovered.
Vitamin D influences over 2,000 of the 30,000 genes in the body, which explains why it has been found to inhibit the onset of many diseases
Some of the current research on Vitamin D and it’s relationship to 5 Common Diseases is presented here in our Special Report.
Evidence validating the benefits of Vitamin D in prevention of many forms of Cancer has been recorded since the 1980s.
When the body absorbs vitamin D, it converts it into a hormone called calcitriol. The body’s organs use this hormone to regulate cell growth and repair cellular damage, including malignant cancer cells.
Dr. Michael Holick, one of the world’s most respected authorities on Vitamin D and author of The UV Advantage explains that “Vitamin D is made in the skin, gets into the bloodstream, and then goes into the liver and kidneys where it is activated into a hormone called 125-dihydroxy (calcitriol). It is this activated vitamin D that has biological, disease-prevention effects, such as preventing prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer.”
The proper amount of vitamin D in the body helps to:
An article in the American Journal of Public Health in 2006 concluded that after a review of more than 60 studies of Cancer and Vitamin D, that cancer occurrence could be reduced with improved levels of Vitamin D in the body. The incidence of breast cancer could be reduced by 50% and colon cancer by 80% That is dramatic!
Most people suffering from heart disease are chronically deficient in vitamin D. By correcting their vitamin D levels people can simultaneously halt cancer and prevent Heart Disease too.
Researchers reviewed the health records of more than 9,000 people who had been diagnosed with vitamin D insufficiency and who had also undergone vitamin D testing at a later date. They found that approximately 50 percent of all patients had achieved healthy vitamin D levels of at least 30 nanograms per milliliter by the second test. Rates of heart disease were significantly lower in this group than among patients who were still deficient in the vitamin.
Chronic Heart Disease has been linked to inflammation in the body. Researchers have found that those who had inflamation in the body also had very low levels of VtiaminD. As they supplemented with Vitamin D, their inflammation decreased.
Vitamin D contains a protein called cytokines, which have been found to manage and control inflammatory processes, thus reducing not only inflammation but future potential health conditions.
Medical studies have shown in the case of congestive heart failure (CHF) an increase in what is called pro-inflammatory cytokines (those which INCREASE inflammation). In a recent clinical trial, people with CHF were given very high doses of Vitamin D.
There was a 43% increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines in their bodies within 9 months! The conclusion was definite… Vitamin D plays an important role in reducing inflammation in heart patients.
Vitamin D deficiency, long suspected to be a risk factor for glucose intolerance, is commonly found in people with poor diabetes control, according to research studies.
Esther Krug, MD, an endocrinologist at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that Vitamin D deficiency was common in her study of Diabetic patients, with more than 91% of participants deficient. As the deficiency worsened, so did diabetes control. Only eight of the 124 participants took vitamin D supplements she found.
Krug and her colleagues decided to look at vitamin D deficiency in the wake of reports suggesting that vitamin D has an active role in regulating pancreatic cells, which make insulin. What they found is that the average blood sugar level was higher in patients with severe vitamin D deficiency compared to those with normal levels of vitamin D.
Aggressive continued screening and supplementation of vitamin D levels is crucial for people with diabetes.
Also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study done in Norway. The study showed that cod liver oil, a good natural source of Vitamin D, greatly reduced the risk of Type I diabetes in children if it was taken the first year of life.
The conclusion by the research was that the Vitamin D in cod liver oil has an anti-inflammatory affect on the body, reducing the onset of Type I Diabetes.
More than 40 million adults in the United States have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis, according to the National Institutes of Health. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue that increases bone fragility and the risk of bone fractures.
Research studies over the years have helped us to understand that insufficient levels of Vitamin D in the body, contribute to osteoporosis by reducing calcium absorption. Supplementing your diet with Vitamin D will allow your body to utilize the calcium that your are taking, more benefically and efficiently.
Seniors and menopausal women are more at risk for developing Osteroporsis and what we see is that the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D declines with age. This prevents the kidneys from converting Vitamin D into the hormone that benefits your bones and keeps them strong.
The National Institute of Health has reported that 50% of women with hip fractures were shown to have Vitamin D deficiency and osteroporosis. Low levels of Vitamin D were also seen in an estimated 40% of seniors who were hospitalized for hip fractures.
By supplementing with Vitamin D and maintaining adequate levels, the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in menopausal women and seniors could be greatly reduced.
Cholesterol and Vitamin D Deficiency
Many in the medical profession are beginning to recognize that people who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are becoming vitamin D-deficient. Cholesterol is required by the body to synthesize vitamin D and statin drugs are are responsible for eliminating it, leading many to speculate that statin drug users do not have enough cholesterol to process vitamin D.
Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol actually plays an important role in maintaining health. It regulates proper hormonal levels and is the precursor substance for the production of vitamin D. Cholesterol also works to digest and absorb fats, nutrients, and vitamins. When converting sunlight into vitamin D, cholesterol in the skin acts as the catalyst for this important process.
- Ryan Greendyk a professional health journalist and writer from Santa Fe, NM. Yoga teacher and meditator, he is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of of holistic health, teaching others how to take responsibility for their own health and changing the World.
University of California Riverside More Than Half the World’s Population Gets Insufficient Amounts of Vitamin D, Says UC Riverside Biochemist. 15 July 2010;
Holick, M. F. Chen, T. C. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr; 87 (4): 1080S-6S.
Los Angeles Times Vitamin D linked to lower heart disease risk. March 15, 2010
Web MD Low Vitamin D Linked to Poor Diabetes Control. June 21, 2010
National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D June 24,2011
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Medicine Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline July 2011
Natural News Do Statin Drugs Cause Vitamin D Deficiency? January 8, 2010