Vitamin D Deficiency and How Insufficient Levels Can Impact Your Overall Health

Vitamin D Deficiency - and Probiotics, compromised immune systems, Nutrition Facts, and Vitamin Supplements

They say sunshine can cheer you up, but insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin may also increase your risk of developing depression, says a joint study from Italy and the US.

Both men and women over the age of 65 have increased risk of depressive symptoms if they have this D Deficiency, with the association stronger in women than men, according to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

And the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem; it ranks depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, with around 120 million people affected

Dutch scientists reported in 2008 in the Archives of General Psychiatry that VitaminD Deficiency and higher blood levels of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) were associated with higher rates of depression among 1,282 community residents aged between 65 and 95

Furthermore, a review by Bruce Ames and Joyce McCann from the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland highlighted the role of the vitamin in maintaining brain health, noting the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain- and the effect of Vitamin D Deficiency.

According to the review (FASEB Journal, Vol.22, pp. 982-1001), the Vitamin D Deficiency has been reported to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behaviour.

Depression in the elderly is highly prevalent and can increase the risk of medical illnesses, worsen the outcome of other medical illnesses, and may increase mortality.

  • Vitamin D Deficiency, and the achievement of adequate vitamin D levels are best supported by nutritional supplementation because of the side-effects of UV exposure, says the results of a new computer simulation model from the US

  • In the US, where over 1.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, experts are pushing protein & vitamin/mineral supplements to avoid Vitamin D Deficiency, claiming recommendations for sun exposure are "highly irresponsible"

    “Because of these practical difficulties combined with the detrimental side effects of UV exposure, we endorse the IARC assessment that even if it is ultimately demonstrated that increasing vitamin D levels impacts cancer and chronic disease, oral supplements of vitamin D would probably represent the safest way to increase vitamin D status," concluded the researchers.

    Vitamin D details

    Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors - D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Both D3 and D2 precursors are hydroxylated in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active 'storage' form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.

    An ever growing body of science supports the benefits of maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.

    In adults, it is said vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. There is also some evidence that the vitamin may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type 1 diabetes

    Source: Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyJune 2010, Volume 62, Issue 6, Pages 929.e1-929.e9“Estimated equivalency of vitamin D production from natural sun exposure versus oral vitamin D supplementation across seasons at two US latitudes”Authors: V. Terushkin, A. Bender, E.L. Psaty, O. Engelsen, S.Q. Wang, A.C. Halpern

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