Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vitamin D Delivers Maximum Health Benefits

While it has always been viewed as an essential nutrient, vitamin D hasrecently gained superstar status due to an impressive array of new studies
that confirm its ability to strengthen immunity, support healthy blood sugar levels, and promote bone, breast and cardio health.* These studies also
confirm the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk to one's health, making supplementation beneficial.

For example, in the September 2008 edition of the journal Current Opinions in Rheumatology, an article1 noted that there has been increasing interest regarding vitamin D and auto-immunity.* Supplementation with vitamin D may help the body maintain bone health and a healthy auto-immune system function.*

Also, in the September 2008 edition of the journal Epidemiology, another study2 was published indicating that there is an association between vitamin D levels and the body's ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range.*

The journal Osteoporosis International reported in its September 2008 issue about a group of 110 elderly women that were recruited for a study3. 96% of these women had vitamin D insufficiency and 38% of them had extremely low levels of vitamin D. One year following, the women were restudied. Those individuals that had the higher levels of vitamin D experienced improved leg performance compared to those with the lowest levels of vitamin D.* The researchers concluded that vitamin D sufficiency may have important effects on lower extremity function without excessive health care cost.*

In a related article4 published in August 19, 2008 edition of the prestigious journal Annals of Internal Medicine, 400 elderly patients were compared to a group of 400 control individuals. Those women with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood had greater leg performance compared to those with higher concentrations.*

A case control study5 that took place between 1991 and 1994 in Italy comparing the dietary intake of vitamin D and breast health was published in the August 2008 edition of the journal Annals of Oncology.* Researchers found that those women with the highest intake of vitamin D had a correlation to maintaining healthy breast tissue.* They concluded that the study adds to the existing evidence that vitamin D intake is associated with breast health.*

Finally, an article6 was just published in the September 2008 edition of the journal Stroke from the American Heart Association. A total of 3,316 patients were studied for their cardiovascular health. It was found that those individuals with higher levels of vitamin D had greater cardiovascular health.* The authors suggested that vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach in maintaining cardiovascular health.*

I have a patient that spent $120 for ONE vitamin D pill, after insurance covered a portion, prescribed by by her doctor, for 100000 IU. We have approximately the same amount, emulsified in a little dropper bottle, which makes it easier to absorb, for less than $20.

Remember, vitamin D is fat soluble, so taking any excess is stored in your fat cells.

1Kamen D and Aranow C, Vitamin D in systemic lupus erythematosus, Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 20(5):532-537, September 2008.

2Knekt P, Laaksonen M, Mattila C, Harkanen T, Marniemi J, Heliovaara M, Rissanen H, Montonen J, Reunanen A, Serum Vitamin D and Subsequent Occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes, Epidemiology, 19(5):666-671, September 2008.

3LeBoff MS, Hawkes WG, Glowacki J, Yu-Yahiro J, Hurwitz S and Magaziner J, Vitamin D-deficiency and post-fracture changes in lower extremity function and falls in women with hip fractures, Osteoporosis International, Volume 19, Number 9, September 2008.

4Cauley JA, LaCroix AZ, Wu L, Horwitz M, Danielson ME,, Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations and Risk for Hip Fractures, Annals of Internal Medicine, August 19, 2008, Volume 149, Issue 4, Pages 242-250.

5Rossi M, McLaughlin JK, Lagiou P, Bosetti C,, Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk: a case-control study in Italy, Annals of Oncology, Annals of Oncology Advance Access published online on August 18, 2008.

6Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B,, Low Vitamin D Levels Predict Stroke in Patients Referred to Coronary Angiography, Stroke, 2008;39:2611-2613.

7Udenigwe CC, Ramprasath VR, Aluko RE and Jones PJH, Potential of resveratrol in anticancer and anti-inflammatory therapy, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 66, Issue 8, Pages 445-454.

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