Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked With a Wide Range of Diseases
Copyright (c) 2008 Mary Ann Copson
The latest data links Vitamin D deficiency with a wide range of diseases.
Vitamin D deficiencies are very common, particularly in northern climates. Lack of sunshine, wearing clothing, and use of sunscreens inhibits the natural creation of Vitamin D in the skin.
Do you know what your Vitamin D levels are?
Having optimal Vitamin D levels is a simple and inexpensive health change that can affect a:
78% reduction in type1 diabetes in children
33% reduction in type 2 diabetes
72% reduction in number of falls in the elderly
42% reduction in multiple sclerosis in women
And those without adequate Vitamin D levels are at risk for:
200% increase in type 1 diabetes in children
30-50% more cancers
Optimal levels of Vitamin D result in a 77% reduction in cancer incidence.
Life Extension Foundation Research shows that achieving adequate Vitamin D levels in the US population could prevent as many as ¾ of all cancers in as little as four years.
Research also reveals that 275,00 American lives could be saved each year if a nationwide program to get adequate vitamin D levels was implemented.
Low levels of Vitamin D have been identified as a ?health crisis emergency?. Everything should be done to ensure that everyone achieves optimal Vitamin D status.
?Because of convincing evidence of benefit and the strong evidence of safety, we urge those who have the ability to support public health ? the media, vitamin manufacturers, and policy makers – to undertake new initiatives that will have a realistic chance of making a difference in terms of vitamin D nutrition.? (–American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
A review article in the July 19, 2007 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine documents that those with less than optimal Vitamin D levels have increase incidence of: Autoimmune diseases Osteoarthritis Depression Hypertension Pulmonary disorders Schizophrenia Cardiovascular diseases
In addition, low levels of Vitamin D have been related to:
Non-specific musculoskeletal pain
Chronic low back pain
Between 40-100% of elderly people in the US and Europe have insufficient or deficient levels of Vitamin D. Even children and young adults who supplement with 400 IU of Vitamin D and consume Vitamin D rich foods can be low in Vitamin D.
And don?t count on sunlight exposure to increase your vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D levels can remain low in some people despite abundant exposure to sunlight. 51% of individuals who had a mean of 11.1 hours per week of total body skin exposure with no sunscreen used still remained low in Vitamin D levels. Tanned skin loses its ability to manufacture Vitamin D and as we age our ability to convert vitamin D in the skin becomes further diminished.
Your Vitamin D status can be assessed by having your blood tested. Vitamin D testing identifies Vitamin D deficiency as a potential cause of numerous health problems. Further testing monitors Vitamin D levels during supplementation to ensure adequate levels are achieved and protects against possible overdosing and toxicity.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that the ?minimum Vitamin D blood levels needed to reduce disease risk is 30 ng/mL? and that it is rare for members of the US population to achieve this.
To account for the significant individual dose response variability, an optimal strategy is to achieve a serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) level of around 60 ng/mL. Depending on your current vitamin D levels you may need to take up to 5,000 IU or more of Vitamin D to achieve this optimal disease prevention level.
The good news is that Vitamin D is inexpensive. That’s why testing for Vitamin D will never be popularized by the media – because there is no expensive drug to push.
It is important to remember that it is the amount of Vitamin D in the blood that determines disease risk ? not the amount of Vitamin D consumed. Excess fat in the body can lock up Vitamin D and prevent utilization.
Until recently, a test for Vitamin D levels meant a trip to the doctor and a blood draw. But now, a few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless prick of the finger with a few spots of blood placed on special collection paper are all that is needed. This can be done at home. It?s convenient, quick and suitable for all populations from pediatric to the elderly.
Your blood spot sample is sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. You?ll have accurate results in just a few days.
Blood spot testing ensures that you achieve optimal levels of Vitamin D and avoid the multiple risks associated with low Vitamin D levels.
Source by Mary Ann Copson