While everyone knows adequate sunlight is the easiest way to get Vitamin D, more than half of the world’s population is currently experiencing Vitamin D deficiency, which has led to more medical experts pushing for Vitamin D supplements in order to maximize the benefits of acquiring ample Vitamin D.
Here are just 8 horrible diseases that Vitamin D deficiency has been scientifically linked to. And these are all diseases one would have significantly better odds of avoiding if only this deficiency were arrested before it’s too late.
8. Rheumatoid Arthritis
New research makes the case that Vitamin D helps protect older women against rheumatoid arthritis. This has been a study 11 years in the making, and as expected, those with the highest Vitamin D levels had the lowest incidences of rheumatoid arthritis as well. Those who got less than 200 IU of Vitamin D each day were 33% more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than the women who got more.
7. Respiratory Infection
Research has shown that it is biologically plausible for Vitamin D to be associated with respiratory health because Vitamin D plays a role in the lung’s immune response to virus infection. As such, given how big a deal respiratory disease is, Vitamin D is really important at preventing the worst: double the risk of having respiratory list for those with Vitamin D deficiency.
We already know that Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, which in turn helps build stronger bones. It also aids in improving muscle function, which improves balance and subsequently decreases the likelihood of falling. Osteoporosis, the bone disease that turns bones brittle, is often linked with low levels of Vitamin D, and when you couple that with the decreased muscle function, your higher likelihood of falling directly exacerbates your risky condition.
A very recent study confirmed that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk in acquiring dementia and Alzheimer’s. The study involved observing 1,658 elderly adults who don’t have any dementia, cardiovascular disease, or strokes. Over the course of the study, 171 of them developed dementia while 102 developed Alzheimer’s. And yes, an overwhelming number of them had Vitamin D deficiency. Given that Vitamin D Receptors in the brain are often associated with memory, it’s clear why the link exists.
4. Multiple Sclerosis
Vitamin D plays a role in a number of different systems in the human body, and that includes the immune system. This has led to the realization that Vitamin D does play a role in preventing diseases thought to be caused by proper immune responses, especially the likes of Multiple Sclerosis. Not only does having lower levels of Vitamin D increase your risk for acquiring MS, it also even increases your risk for relapses and complications.
Various studies have shown that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have significantly lower Vitamin D levels when compared to healthy people. In a study involving people aged between 70 to 80 who had lower levels of exposure to sunlight, it was discovered that lower levels of Vitamin D correlated to a doubling risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, a higher level of Vitamin D was associated with lower values of glycated hemoglobin, which has ben directly linked with the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. Vitamin D Receptors are prominently expressed in cells that secrete insulin and in tissues that respond to insulin, which means Vitamin D helps regulate insulin in addition to all the other great things it does.
2. Some Types of Cancer
Breast cancer, colon cancer, and yes, prostate cancer. All these three are diseases that people are increasingly susceptible to when they have Vitamin D deficiency. Studies have suggested that majority of people with cancer have low levels of Vitamin D. In fact, two studies in 2007 have posited that Vitamin D could theoretically prevent up to half of all cases of breast cancer.
1. Cardiovascular Disease
Yes, you read that right. A lack of Vitamin D has been linked with the #1 killer of Filipino men since the DOH started keeping track. Don’t let it happen to you just because you took all the other precautions against heart disease, but decided to ignore Vitamin D for some reason. This could spell the difference between a long life and an unexpected early demise.
A US study done in the US observed 50,000 healthy men and followed them for 10 years, monitoring their Vitamin D blood levels. The men who had Vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have a heart attack as the men who had adequate levels of Vitamin D. This is because there’s evidence that there are actually Vitamin D receptors in the heart that aids in controlling blood pressure and preventing artery damage. This is not something you want to do without.