Vitamin D

There was once a little vitamin called D, who got pushed around by the big A, B and C vitamins. Nobody thought little vitamin D was useful. Even little vitamin D.

But thanks to a large number of independent studies, it was discovered that little vitamin D possibly had some strong antiviral properties. And when winter came, everyone in the town looked to little vitamin D to save them.

In many of the studies, those most susceptible to viral infection were found to be largely deficient in vitamin D. Viral infections relate to things like colds and flu.

The Canadian government has introduced testing for vitamin D levels in H1N1 influenza (otherwise known as ‘swine flu’) sufferers.

America is Revising the Recommended Dosage of Vitamin D

In the U.S., the NIH has introduced a huge study, involving a sample of 20,000 participants, to ascertain the effects vitamin D and fish oil supplementation have on overall health.

There is some suggestion that the previous recommended dosage may be far below what is required to create a therapeutic effect (i.e. a dose that has the ability to impact a disease state).

The American Pediatric Association in 2008 doubled their recommended dose for infants. Previous recommendations on daily required vitamin D intake are now being revised.

Forgotten history of Vitamin D

Over the years, vitamin D has gradually been forgotten. However, we did know once that vitamin D is essential for the metabolism of calcium (in other words, our bodies ability to use calcium).

Calcium is in lots of things we eat – specifically in leafy greens, sea vegetables, whey and molases. Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium from food, making it available for the body to use for muscle contraction, bone strength, etc.

Research Suggests Vitamin D  May Reduce the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease

There is also a significant research pointing to the ability of vitamin D to markedly reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin D is also required for healthy development of growing children’s bones (our kids spend more time indoors than ever before!), assists in maintaining healthy skeletal and cardiac muscles and involved in healthy prostate cell metabolism – just to name a few.

Obesity increases the risk for vitamin D deficiency because fat basically sequesters the vitamin.

References

  • Dusso AS,Brown AJ,Slatopolsky E. Vitamin D. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2005:289(1):F8-28.
  • Harel Z, Flanagan P, Forcier M, et al. Low vitamin D status among obese adolescents: prevalence and response to treatment. J Adolesc Health 2011;48(5)L448-52
  • Krishnan AV, Trump DL, Johnson CS, et al. The role of vitamin D in cancer
  • prevention and treatment. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2010;39(2):401-18
  • Nowson CA, Margerison C. Vitamin D intake and vitamin D status of Australians. Med J Aust 2002;177(3):149-52
  • Vieth R, et al. The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective, AJCN, 2007; Vol. 85, No. 3, 649-650. (AJCN).
  • Urashima M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren, ASN, 2010 (AJCN).
  • Van der Mei IA, Ponsonby AL, Engelsen O, et al. The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian population is only partly explained by season and latitude. Environ Health Perspect 2007;115(8):1132-9

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