We all know from a young age that vitamin D builds strong bones, and it is foundly named the Sunshine vitamin. Yet, what else does it do and what happens when you don’t get enough?
Activated Vitamin D hormone helps control the immune system and has anti-inflammatory attributes. Thus in the event you don’t have enough you could be opening yourself up to some troublesome health issues such as
- Increased risk of death from Cardiovascular disease
- Severe Asthma in children
- Cognitive impairment in older Adults
- Rickets- a condition that affects bone developement in children
Most recently a report published in the June 19, 2018 edition of the Journal of Nutrition by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, which utilized data accumulated over 10 years for more than 6,000 Adults found that low levels of Vitamin D are linked with an increased risk of a disease which causes scarring and inflamation of the lungs identified as Interstitial Lung disease (ILD). Over the 10 year time frame it was discovered that lower than normal blood levels of Vitamin D demonstrated an increased risk factor in ILD developement.
Bering in mind that the researchers do caution that cause and effect are not proven, the findings of the report do support the need for further investigation, however this study suggests that Vitamin D levels may be important to lung health. It may behoove us to now think about adding Vitamin D deficiency to the list of factors along with the other known ILD risks, ie. enviornmental toxins (asbestos, coal dust), Autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, infections or medication side effects.
Other research suggests that Vitamin D contributes to treatment and prevention of many types of chronic long term health issues for example Diabetes both Types 1 and 2, glucose intolerence, hypertension and multiple sclerosis.
Causes of Vitamin D deficiency can arise from a number of things.
- Lack of Sunlight- The sunshine vitamin is made naturally in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight without sunscreen, however for a variety of reasons this natural remedy may be prohibitive for some.
- Darker skin – The pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamn D in response to sunlight exposure.
- Obesity- Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells, altering its release into circulation. A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more often is indicative of low levels in the blood.
Additional reasons could be the inability of your digestive tract to absorb vitamin D as seen in conditions like Crhons or celiac disease. Kidney inability to convert vitamin D to its active form just to name a couple.
I personaly suffer from vitamin D deficiency and up until recently I had been taking 50,000 IU (international units) weekly. Depending on age and health issues, the Institute of Medicine has increased the Recommended Dietary Allowence (RDA) of Vitamin D to 600 IU daily for everyone age 1 to 70, and for those who are 70 and older the daily amount should be 800 IU. Now in the event a person is in fact Vitamin D deficient in order to correct the upper limit was raised to 4,000 IU daily with a Doctor being able to prescribe more than that if needed. My daily dosage broke down to 7,143 IU.
As always be upfront with your doctor and discuss options if you feel you may be at risk.
Until next time Peace, Harmony and Joy to one and all.