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Posted on 05-28-2013

Vitamin D and staying healthy.

There is lots of research coming out that is demonstrating the benefits of taking Vitamin D while you're young as it helps to maintain bone health.  Most of our vitamin D production comes from the sun. If you live in the north and the mid west, during the winter, we don't get a lot of sun exposure. Many people believe that you can get enough vitamin D through our food and diet. According to Dr. Fischoff-Ferrari, you would have to consume two servings of fatty fish on a daily basis to reach an adequate vitamin D level. 

This is why it's important to get the proper amount of sun exposure and to supplement your diet with high quality vitamins.  Taking vitamin D by itself is not always helpful though. Vitamin D uses many different vitamins and nutrients like magnesium to properly function in the body. 

How do I know if I have vitamin D deficiency?

If you're worried that you may be deficient in Vitamin D, the best thing you can do is get a blood test to measure the level of Vitamin D in your blood.  You can also read below and find out if any of these symptoms matches to what you have going on.

Top Ten Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

 

1.) Getting the flu more often than other people. - Cambridge Journals recently published a study that showed kids that were deficient in Vitamin D had an increased incidence in respiratory infections.

2.) Weakness in your muscle. - In order for your muscles to continually function, they need a sustained level of Vitamin D.

3.) Diabetes - Believe it or not, increasing the vitamin D intake may decrease your risk of type 1 diabetes by 80%.  In a study in Finland, 10,366 children were followed and studied for 31 years and were given 200 IU/day of Vitamin D 3.  In this cohort of children, the risk of type 1 diabetes was decreased by 80% as compared to a normal population sample.  

10 signs you may have vitamin D deficiency4.) Schizophrenia and Depression - New research is coming to light that may show that some depressions may be a result of a lack of Vitamin D.  Dr. Sonal Pathak is an endocrinolist at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Delaware.  She presented a study on three women with severe depression as measured by the Beck score on depression. After measuring their Vitamin D levels with a blood test and confirming they were each Vitamin D deficient after the blood test.  They were given 12 weeks of Vitamin D and had another blood test to measure they were no longer deficient.  

After the 12 weeks of therapy, they all reported significant improvements in their mood.  Professor Rebecca Anglin did a study of all of the research out there for Vitamin D and depression and her team concluded that it looks like there is a link between depression and Vitamin D deficiency. This could prove to be a big reason why people in the northern area and mid west suffer from seasonal effective disorder. 

Most of our vitamin D production comes from the sun, and when we don't get that exposure due to being inside too much during the winter, our vitamin D levels tend to drop.  This is one of the most important times to continue taking a high quality Vitamin D supplement. 

Understanding this information may drastically change how psychiatrists and doctors treat depression.  

5.) Asthma - Vitamin D may help to reduce the A study from Japan showed that asthma attacks in school children taking 1200 IU/day showed a significant decrease in asthma attacks. 

6.) Gum Disease - Bleeding, swollen gums is usually due to chronic bacterial infections. Increasing your vitamin D may be beneficial for periodontal disease because it helps your body increase the production of defensins and cathelicidin. These two compounds help to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and gums. 

7.) Cancer - Georgetown University Medical Center in DC found that increased doses of vitamin D were linked to a 75% reduction in overall cancer growth in breast cancer and a 50% reduction in tumor cases among those who already had the disease.  

8.) Heart Disease - Harvard University released a study among nurses that demonstrated a 67% increased risk of developing high blood pressure as a result of having low vitamin D levels.  

9.) Chronic Kidney Disease - Patients with advanced kidney disease don't have the ability to make the active form of vitamin D.  For these individuals, it is a must that they get on some form of vitamin D supplementation to ensure they can support calcium metabolism and decrease the risk of bone disease. 

10.) Psoriasis - In a study by UK Pub Med central, vitamin D supplementation was found to be beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis for many individuals.

 

Be proactive with your vitamin D intake.

Taking vitamin D on a daily basis will help to ensure your body is functioning at its highest level. Taking vitamin D can help you save thousands of dollars in the long run. Remember still, the best source of vitamin D is sunshine. Head to the beach and get your vitamin D levels back to where they need to be. We also offer vitamin D in the office for patients. If you're worried about your vitamin D levels, let us know.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510299,00.html
http://journals.cambridge.org
http://www.vitamindcouncil.com

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