Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get Vitamin D from the Sun and Supplementation

Here's Why You Need Vitamin D....

1. Vitamin D has been shown to suppress inflammation in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, and even stroke. Clinical studies have also shown that there is a decrease in the risk of both type 1 and 2 Diabetes in individuals who supplement with vitamin D. Studies with supplementing even 400 IU of vitamin D daily have shown significant reduction in the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, where far higher rates are found in individuals who live in higher latitudes. There are far fewer falls in those elderly patients who supplement with vitamin D at this optimal level. Another important aspect is the fact that vitamin D is required for proper immune function. Dr. Ray Strand, M.D., news bulletin, January 9, 2009

2. Vitamin D reduces the risk of certain cancers. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health explains that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths annually, especially in cancers of the colon, breast, prostate and ovary. Improving vitamin D status through diet and supplements could reduce cancer incidence and mortality with few or no adverse effects and very low cost. American Journal of Public Health Feb., 2006. 96(2):252-61

3. Maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy influences childhood bone mass. Maternal vitamin D insufficiency is common during pregnancy and now looks to be associated with reduced bone-mineral accumulation in offspring during childhood. Vitamin D supplementation of pregnant women, especially during winter months, could lead to improved bone health and a long-term reduction in the risk of osteoporosis in their children. Lancet 2006 Jan 7:367(9504):36-43

4. American Academy of Pediatrics Increases vitamin D recommendations. The AAP has updated the amount of vitamin D they formally recommend for children from 200 IU per day to 400 IU per day.

“We are doubling the recommended amount because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits. Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone.” APP October 16, 2008

5. Low vitamin D levels lead to poor physical performance in the elderly. In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D is thought to play a role in musculoskeletal function. In a recent study, researchers examined the association between vitamin D status and physical performance in a sample of 976 persons over the age of 65. Among subjects with low vitamin D levels, physical performance and grip strength were significantly lower than that of participants who did not have reduced levels. Emerging research indicates vitamin D may also play important roles in preservation of muscle strength and physical function, as well as potential preventative roles in conditions such as cancer. The Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences62:440-446 (2007)

6. Cells in lung tissue activate vitamin D and increase immune function. A recent issue of the Journal of Immunology reports that vitamin D, which is primarily activated by the kidneys, is also converted to its active form in lung tissue. This conversion is essential for the beneficial activity of the vitamin in the body. The researchers noted that controlling inflammation through vitamin D is important because too much inflammation can cause problems related to sepsis (blood poisoning) and contribute to certain autoimmune diseases. The Journal of Immunology 2008, 181:7090-7099

7. Low levels of vitamin D are common among healthy children. A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that many children may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for normal growth, development and immune function. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2007: 86 (1): 150-8

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