Vitamin D Deficiency - More Information
Vitamin D Deficiency-More study results confirming the importance of supplementation D Deficiency- and how it may boost physical function for seniors: Study By Stephen Daniells, 26-Apr-2010 Dr Houston and her co-workers analyzed data from 2,788 people with an average age of 75. Blood levels of 25(OH)D were measured at the start of the study, two years later, and then again after four years.
Seniors with higher blood levels of vitamin D are likely to have better physical function, says a new study that suggests higher recommended levels may be needed to ensure muscle health.
Physical function was highest in people with the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) while Vitamin D Deficiency levels were associated with poorer physical function, scientists from Wake Forest University told attendees.
"Current dietary recommendations are based primarily on vitamin D's effects on bone health. It is possible that higher amounts of Vitamin D through supplementation are needed for the preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as other health conditions", the attendees were told.
The panel concluded that “a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin D and contribution to the normal function of the immune system and healthy inflammatory response, and maintenance of normal muscle function”
These levels were then related to the physical function of the participants, measured by a variety of tests including how quickly they could walk 6 meters, how quickly they could rise from a chair five times, and how well they maintained their balance when asked to adopt a challenging position. Data showed that people with the highest levels of vitamin D levels had better physical function. On the other hand, of the people with the lowest physical function 90 per cent of them had Vitamin D Deficiency
High blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 67 per cent, compared with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, says a new study from Finland. Researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki analyzed data from 3,173 Finnish men and women aged between 50 and 79. Over an impressive 29 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 50 cases of Parkinson's disease.
The study is reported to be the first longitudinal analysis of Vitamin D Deficiency status and the risk of Parkinson's disease.
The authors note that the exact mechanism is unknown, but postulated that vitamin D may be exerting a benefit through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons.
“Our results are in line with the hypothesis that low vitamin D status predicts the development of Parkinson disease,” write the researchers. “Because of the small number of cases and the possibility of residual confounding, large cohort studies are needed. In intervention trials focusing on effects of vitamin D supplements, the incidence of Parkinson disease merits follow up.”
In an accompanying editorial, Marian Leslie Evatt, MD, MS, from Emory University in Atlanta described the study as “the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's disease”.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative condition affecting movement and balance in more than one million Americans each year, a figure expected to rise due to ageing populations. The disease affects nerve cells in several parts of the brain, particularly those that use the chemical messenger dopamine to control movement.
Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain affected most by Parkinson's, the substantia nigra, contains high levels of the vitamin D receptor, which suggests vitamin D ( and Vitamin D Deficiency) may be important for normal functions of these cells.
The new study involved the measurement of vitamin D levels in over 3,000 people. The data showed that people with the most Vitamin D Deficiency were three times more likely to develop Parkinson's, compared to the group with the highest levels.
In the editorial, Evatt added that “it seems prudent to confirm the findings presented in this issue and investigate whether the apparent dose-response relationship observed in the current study maintains its slope, levels off or becomes negative with higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations"
"In the interim, data from interventional studies of fractures and falls appear to justify optimizing vitamin D levels to greater than 30 to 40 nanograms per millilitre,” she concluded
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Source: Archives of Neurology Volume 67, Issue 7, Pages 808-811 "Serum Vitamin D and the Risk of Parkinson Disease" Authors: P. Knekt, A. Kilkkinen, H. Rissanen, J. Marniemi, K. Saaksjarvi, M. Heliovaara
Editorial: Archives of Neurology Volume 67, Issue 7, Pages 795-797, doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.123 “Beyond Vitamin Status – Is There a Role for Vitamin D in Parkinson Disease?” Author: M.L. Evatt
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