6 Striking Health Effects of Vitamin D

According to Boston University researchers, between 30 to 50% of children and adults in the United States are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. While this deficiency can lead to rickets in children, in adults, it is associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and immune dysfunction.

Experts believe that sensible exposure to sun, an consumption of vitamin dietary supplements may be the best way to deal with this preventable medical condition.

The following are some newly discovered benefits of vitamin D

1. Reduced risk of Fracture - A study found that oral vitamin D supplements taken at a dose of at least 400 international units daily, were linked to a decreased risk of bone fractures in older adults. (Archives of Internal Medicine, Mar 2009)

2. Protection from Diabetes - If you consume the right quantities of vitamin D, it may protect you from diabetes or even delay its onset. Further, it may reduce complications in those who've already acquired the disease. (The Diabetes Educator, 2009)

3. Prevent Heart Attacks - If you are a man and you have low levels of vitamin D in your system, then you may be at a greater risk of a heart attack or myocardial infarction, suggests a study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2008 issue. Consequently, ensuring adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin in your system via supplements may offer protection against against heart attacks.

4. Increased Girl Power! - UK researchers recently found that teenage girls with higher vitamin D levels were able to jump higher and faster than those who didn't, indicating an improved muscle performance. Boys, Watch Out! (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, JCEM Feb 2009)

5. Prevent Skin Infection - A study by San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that intake of oral Vitamin D supplements helps the body produce cathelicidin - a protective chemical present in the skin. As a result, offering protection from skin infections that result from atopic dermatitis – the commonest type of eczema. (Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Oct 2008)

6. Protection from Death! - Well, vitamin D won't quite infuse immortality into you, but could make you live longer. Here's why. Following a review of several studies, French researchers concluded that the sunshine vitamin does lower your risk of death from any cause. (Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept 2007)
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