Vitamin D research continues to sway upon us the importance of appropriate sun exposure as the best way to boost your vitamin D levels.
Winter season limits sun exposure for many people. During winter, your best choice would be artificial UVB light as they have health benefits above and beyond the production of vitamin D.
It has become clear that vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic worldwide and cause numerous health problems. According to the analysis, correcting your vitamin D deficiency may cut your risk of dying from any cause by 50 %.
Vitamin D impacts nearly 3,000 of your 24,000 genes.
Vitamin D Beneficially Affects Gene Activity
Vitamin D regulates your ability to fight chronic inflammation and infections. It produces more than 200 anti-microbial peptides, including cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.
This is why vitamin D is so effective against influenza and colds.
According to a press release in 2013 by Orthomolecular Medicine, there are 33,800 medical papers with vitamin D in the abstract or title, and this real mountain of research displays that vitamin D has far-reaching benefits to your mental and physical health. Such research has found that vitamin D can improve:
- Pregnancy outcomes (reduced risk of pre-eclampsia and Cesarean section)
- Diabetes Type 1 and 2
- Stroke and Heart disease
- Autism, Alzheimer’s, and other brain dysfunction
- Viral and bacterial infections
Some of the most recent studies demonstrate how boosting your vitamin D levels can improve depression and pain in diabetics, breast cancer, and Crohn’s disease.
Relevance of Vitamin D in Crohn’s Disease
Some older research has associated low vitamin D levels with an increased risk of Crohn’s disease, one of the most recent studies found a significant interaction between vitamin D levels and Crohn’s disease susceptibility.
Serum vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients with Crohn’s disease. Vitamin D affects genetic appearance associated with Crohn’s disease, and make things either better or worse, depending on whether you have enough of it or not.
Vitamin D May Reduce Depression and Pain
Vitamin D supplementation can reduce both depression and pain in diabetic women.
The scientists set out to determine how vitamin D supplementation affects women with type 2 diabetes who were suffering from depression.
At the beginning of the study, 61% of women experienced neuropathic pain, such as burning pain in their feet and legs, and 74% experienced sensory pain, such as numbness and tingling in their legs, fingers, and hands.
The participants involved in the study took a 50,000 IU vitamin D2 supplement every week for six months. The women’s depression levels had improved following the vitamin D2 supplementation.
Additionally, participants who experienced neuropathic or sensory pain at the beginning of the study said that these symptoms decreased at 3 and 6 months following the supplementation.
According to lead researcher Todd Doyle, vitamin D supplementation is a future treatment for both depression and pain in type 2 diabetes.
Why I Recommend Vitamin D3 Over D2
Drisdol, a synthetic form of vitamin D2 made by irradiating fungus and plant matter, is the form of vitamin D which is prescribed by doctors. This is not produced by your body.
In 2012, the meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database showed a difference in mortality rates between people who supplemented their diets with D2 and people who did so with D3. The analysis which included 94,000 participants, showed:
A 6% relative risk reduction among the people who used vitamin D3
A 2 % relative risk increase among the people who used D2
That said, the research sheds light on the role vitamin D plays a significant role in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Last year was published a study that supports the theory that vitamin D can fight against type 2 diabetes. The researchers found a strong relation between abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D in regard to insulin resistance. The researchers claim that 47% of the increased odds of insulin resistance can be explained by the relation between a high body mass index and insufficient vitamin D levels.
Another study published in Diabetes Care found that vitamin D supplements prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus in those with pre-diabetes.
Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk with Vitamin D, Cancer Surgeon Suggests
A recent Science World Report underlined the recommendation by Professor Kefah Mokbel, British breast cancer surgeon, who asks women to take daily vitamin D supplements to decrease their risk of breast cancer. According to the article:
Prof. Mokbel has also asked Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to make vitamin D pills easily available because the result will be saving about a 1,000 lives every year. He said that all women older than 20 should be given free vitamin D supplements because it is very effective against breast cancer.
A research which analyzed menopausal women from Nebraska for more than four years showed that taking vitamin D supplements along with calcium lowers the risk of cancer by 60 %, including colon, lung, and breast cancer. It’s cheap, safe, and easy to take.
Vitamin D Is Critical for Cancer Prevention
A growing number of studies show that vitamin D has wonderful protective effects against a range of different cancers, including skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Theories connecting vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and more than 2,500 laboratory trials.
For instance, a study from 2007 concluded that a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was related with a 50 % lower risk of colorectal cancer. And another study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that a mere 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was related to a 15% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11 % reduction in breast cancer incidence.
Another study published in the American Journal (2007), cancer-free survival was 77 % higher in women who took 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium every day, compared to women who received either a placebo or calcium by itself. According to Carole Baggerly, 90% of breast cancer is related to vitamin D deficiency.
Most Important—Maintaining Optimal Vitamin D Serum Levels
A study from 2009 titled published in Annals of Epidemiology states that:
Higher serum levels of the main circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), are related to lower incidence rates of ovarian, breast, colon, renal, pancreatic, aggressive prostate and other cancers.
Raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) can prevent 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer annual, and 3/4 of deaths from these diseases in Canada and the United States, based on studies and trials.
Such intakes can reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have a prostate, or colorectal cancer by 50%.
General Supplementation Guidelines
A research by Grassroots Health recommends that adults need about 8,000 IUs per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml. That said that boosting your vitamin D levels through appropriate sun exposure is the most important. You should also remember that you need to increase the intake of vitamin K2 through food or a supplement.
Now, you know that your vitamin D levels are one of the most important tests you can take. So check your vitamin D levels regularly.
The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention
A growing evidence shows that vitamin D plays an essential role in disease prevention and maintaining ideal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them.
According to one study, optimal Vitamin D levels can lower your risk of cancer by 60%. Keeping your levels optimized can prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including skin, prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, and lung cancer.