Vitamin D deficiency link to chronic headache?

Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of chronic headache, such as migraine, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

The recent Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, analysed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years in 1984-1989. In 68% of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l, which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency. Chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis was reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels than others.

When the study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels. Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September. Thanks to UVB radiation from the sun, the average serum vitamin D levels are higher during the summer months.

Despite being an essential vitamin with multiple benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, survey results have shown that 79% of UK adults don’t take a vitamin D supplement despite 1 in 5 being deficient.


Coenzyme Q-10 is great for supporting brain health. Found in fatty foods like fish, beef, chicken and nuts.


Omega 3s

Omega 3s are powerful anti-inflammatories and they are important for controlling inflammation anywhere in the body.”

These healthy oils can decrease the duration and severity of migraines as they act as an effective anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce blood vessel inflammation within the brain.


As well as Vitamin D, many migraine sufferers are also prone to have a deficiency in magnesium. Known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, an increased magnesium intake can reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines up to 41%![1]

“Many of us live hectic, stressful lives and are more exposed to environmental and food toxins, which can make us more prone to a magnesium deficiency. To make sure you’re getting your daily dose I would recommend taking Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Capsules (£11.75,, which are easily absorbed and delivered to the tissues,” explains Cassandra.


Always ensure you have plenty of water during the day

Can vitamin D help psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes raised, scaly patches, known as plaques, to appear on the skin. It can be mild or chronic.

These scaly patches appear most often on the knees, scalp, and the outside of the elbows, and are the result of skin cells growing abnormally quickly. People with psoriasis often experience itchiness, and burning and stinging sensations in these areas.
People can develop psoriasis at any age, but they are most frequently diagnosed with the illness between the ages of 15 and 35. Although doctors accept that Vitamin D cannot cure this condition it can help to alleviate it.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is made naturally by the body but is also found in  fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms amongst other foodstuffs.


Sardines are an oily fish – they contain Vitamin D and Omega 3 oils – both of which are helpful to calm inflammation in psoriasis

Vitamin D  helps the muscles, heart, lungs, and brain to work well. It also helps to maintain strong, healthy bones. the body  turns vitamin D into a hormone. This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or calcitriol.

Vitamin D helps maintain the health of bones and teeth and supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system. It plays a role in controlling insulin levels and helps lung function and cardiovascular health. A lack of this vitamin is also suspected in the development of some cancers.

How might vitamin D help with psoriasis?
It is suggested by research that in those people who are not able to process vitamin D normally, psoriasis may worsen. As a result may topical creams contain Vitamin D

These treatments may be even more effective when used in combination with a high-quality topical steroid. In fact, a recent study found that the combination of a topical vitamin D treatment and a topical steroid was more effective at treating scalp psoriasis than steroids alone.

Vitamin D and UVBUltraviolet B (UVB) light therapy is also sometimes used to treat psoriasis. The treatment mimics the spectrum of the sun’s UVB rays that are known to trigger the production of vitamin D in the skin. UVB is effective at reducing psoriasis symptoms in 70 percent of patients.

How to get more vitamin D
UVB light therapy, which mimics the sun’s rays, may be used to treat psoriasis.
Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially among the following groups of people:
▪ Elderly
▪ Infants
▪ People with dark skin
▪ People who live at higher latitudes
▪ People who do not get much exposure to the sun

Everybody needs a certain amount of vitamin D per day. A person can take a simple blood test to find out their vitamin D levels. If the levels are too low, they can take oral supplements to replenish them.


Vitamin D molecules

Vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis

Low vitamin D levels are common among people with long-term plaque psoriasis. Experts believe that having a vitamin D deficiency does not cause psoriasis, but it might limit the body’s ability to keep skin healthy.

Studies have found that in the winter, when there is less available sunlight, vitamin D deficiencies and psoriasis symptoms often get worse.

Other vitamins and supplements that might help with psoriasis
There is not much evidence to suggest that vitamins or dietary supplements help reduce symptoms of psoriasis. However, some people with psoriasis believe that omega-3 fatty acid supplements help ease their psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, which is why some people believe the supplements help. But more long-term clinical trials are needed to show whether these supplements are effective for treating psoriasis.

Although it is better to get Vitamin D from your diet or sunlight one of the best dietary supplements is this one from Life Extension which is on sale at the Elixir shop/

Older adults should eat diary and exercise to decrease risk of bone and muscle loss

Combining four nutrients found in diary products with regular exercise can help ward off muscle wasting and bone disease, according to researchers in Switzerland, France and North America.

Calcium, inorganic phosphate, vitamin D and protein interact together with physical activity to maintain healthy muscles and bones, say the experts in an article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition


“While bone health is often associated with calcium alone, Calcium’s interactions with inorganic phosphate, vitamin D, and protein are important components of beneficial dairy consumption,” says the article.

“Combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of hip and other non-vertebral fractures among older populations, with some studies suggesting that vitamin D actually leads to lower rates of falling in subjects. Dietary protein, while often associated solely with muscle recovery, also promotes bone formation by stimulating both Ca and Pi intestinal absorption and the production of a bone growth factor. And while vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle weakness, vitamin D and protein supplementation are required together to improve strength.

“Combining the four above-mentioned nutrients with physical activity decreases the likelihood of bone and muscle degeneration-related injury in older adults. Dairy products are a convenient way to work them into a diet, as they contain Ca, Pi, and protein at levels comparable to recommended intakes, and are fortified with vitamin D.”

Vitamin D protects joints from arthritic inflammation, says new report

Los Angeles: The miracle of Vitamin D’s protection to the body continues – scientists have now found that it also helps prevent inflammation in joints.

knee joint.jpg

The discovery was made by scientists at the University of Florida who reviewed the blood vitamin D levels and health of 45 African American and 49 Caucasians between 45 and 71 years of age with osteoarthritis of the knee. The reason for looking at the two different ethnicities was because African Americans tend to have lower vitamin D levels.

Lead researcher, Toni Glover said the study examined the theory of whether long term micronutrient deficiencies trigger chronic inflammation. In turn, chronic inflammation leads to chronic health conditions, many of which are characterized by pain as a disabling symptom. 
African American participants reported more pain in comparison with Caucasian subjects. While half of the Caucasian participants had vitamin D levels that were lower than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), these insufficient levels occurred in 84 percent of the African Americans. Average Caucasian vitamin D levels were 28.2 ng/mL, in contrast with 19.9 ng/mL among African Americans. “People associate vitamin D with good bone health,” stated Glover, who is a research nurse practitioner and doctoral candidate at the University of Florida. “Yet, not everyone is aware of what factors decrease vitamin D and how low levels could contribute to health issues, including chronic pain.”
“Our data demonstrate that differences in experimental pain sensitivity between the two races are mediated at least in part by variations in vitamin D levels,” she concluded. “However, further studies are needed to fully understand the link between low vitamin D levels and racial disparities in pain. Although rare, vitamin D toxicity is possible and older adults should consult with their primary care provider regarding supplementation. It may be warranted that older black Americans with chronic widespread pain be screened for vitamin D deficiency to reduce disparities in pain.”
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Majority of adults risk bone health from chronic Vitamin D deficiency


An estimated 50-70% of adults are at risk of the bone disease, osteoporosis and other health problems, as a result of a deficiency in vitamin D. 
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) today published evidence of what is describes as “a major public health issue” with a global map of vitamin D status worldwide. 
“The map and accompanying publication[1] confirm that vitamin D insufficiency is a major public health issue in both the developing and industrialized world, with more than one third of all the populations studied, showing insufficient levels of vitamin D[2],” says the IOF. 
DSM, the life science company, which contributed to developing the data and the map, strongly supports IOF’s call for healthcare decision makers to take immediate action to address vitamin D insufficiency as a priority public policy issue, and emphasize the role of supplementation as a key tool for addressing this problem.
Key findings include:
·         Overall, insufficient vitamin D levels were detected in more than one third of the study population[3]
·         Vitamin D insufficiency affects both the developing world and industrialized world
·         The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, but even in sunny countries, vitamin D levels are generally low and below recommended levels (taking India as example: a sunny country; yet, with  low vitamin D status)
·         Rates of vitamin D insufficiency are higher amongst women than men
·         It is estimated that 50 -70 % of the European adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D
·         In US adults, vitamin D insufficiency estimates range from 20% (non-Hispanic whites) – 70 % (non-Hispanic blacks).
·         Older people are especially at risk for vitamin D insufficiency, including older women who are a risk group for osteoporosis, and those living indoors in institutionalised care.  
Osteoporosis is a serious chronic disease which affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Vitamin D improves bone mineral density, which lowers risk of fracture, whilst also improving muscle strength, balance, and leg function which decreases the risk of falling and sustaining a fracture in the first place. As a consequence, vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to a higher risk of osteoporotic fractures.
Studies show that adequate vitamin D can reduce the risk of falls and fractures by around 30%[4].  In Germany, research indicated that regular vitamin D supplements can help achieve healthcare cost savings of between Euro 585-778 million in one country alone[5].
Judy Stenmark, CEO of the International Osteoporosis Foundation commented: “IOF urges people at risk of osteoporosis and generally all seniors aged 60 years and older to ensure optimal levels of vitamin D. In these high risk groups IOF recommends 800-1000 IU/day supplementation for fall and fracture prevention.  With the launch of these maps, we are calling on health professionals to be aware of the status of vitamin D insufficiency within their own country and urge them to take simple and inexpensive steps to correct it. This will ultimately improve, and even save, lives.”
Prof. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, DrPH, Director Centre on Aging and Mobility, University of Zurich added: “The reality is that natural production of vitamin D through sunlight decreases with age, and it is very difficult to achieve sufficient vitamin D through diet alone, especially in the senior population. The good news is that vitamin D supplementation offers an effective, inexpensive, and safe public health strategy that can make a significant difference to people’s health and quality of life, by reducing 30% of falls and hip fracture4.” 
Dr Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President Nutrition Science & Advocacy DSM commented: “The maps are a major advance in the fight against vitamin D deficiency. We know that vitamin D deficiency is linked to serious diseases such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in the elderly, but our understanding of the scale and extent of the problem was far too limited. We now have a much better understanding of the picture of vitamin D insufficiency, and confirmation of its importance as a global public health issue.
The map has also created a very clear picture as to where the vitamin D insufficiency knowledge gaps exist and where further research is required. Dr Eggersdorfer added, “There is far too little data available, for example, in relation to adolescents and young people, and across the developing world in general. These maps are an important starting point, but it is essential that research continues to better understand the scale of vitamin D insufficiency.”
DSM joins IOF in calling on healthcare policymakers to raise awareness of vitamin D insufficiency and to take action to ensure intake of recommended vitamin D levels, including through safe and effective measures such as food fortification, access to proper supplements and better consumer education.
 About the map – drawing on scientific studies from across the world, the maps color code levels of vitamin D status based on national scientific data, with green indicating an optimal/desirable vitamin D status, and yellow as (in-) adequate or suboptimal. Orange highlights vitamin D blood levels below 50 nmol/l which are considered insufficient, and red indicates severe vitamin D deficiency (below 25nmol/l) based on a sliding scale[6].  The maps will be updated annually and provide researchers, medical practitioners and policymakers with an invaluable resource in the fight against vitamin D deficiency.
The maps can be found on the website of the International Osteoporosis Foundation at
Additional country findings include:
·         In Germany 57% of men and 58% of women had vitamin D status below recommended levels, rising to 75% amongst 65-79 year olds
·         UK studies focused on older people reveal that nearly two thirds of women (57%), and half of men (49%) are not getting enough vitamin D
·         In the Netherlands, around half of all study participants had sub-optimal vitamin D levels
·         In the US, around 30% of the study population has sub-optimal vitamin D levels, rising to around 70% amongst participants with black skin color, highlighting skin color as a risk factor for vitamin D insufficiency.  Overall the US vitamin D status was significantly higher compared to other regions, which may in part, be attributable to the routine fortification of foods with vitamin D (such as milk, juice and cereals)
·         The Middle East revealed lower vitamin D status compared to Europe which could result from cultural factors such as clothing and lifestyle.
·         Asia showed a widespread insufficient vitamin D status across different countries. with a few exceptions (vitamin D status was ranked desirable in Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam )
·         Most regions offer some data, however no informa
tion was available for Central America, South America (except Brazil) and much of Africa.
·         The most striking data gaps are found in children and adolescents
For further information and interview requests with Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari (University of Zurich) and Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, DSM, please contact:
DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™
Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM’s 22,000 employees deliver annual net sales of around €9 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext. More information can be found at
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High dose Vitamin D needed to protect against bone fracture

New York: Higher doses of Vitamin D are needed to protect older adults against bone fractures, according to an analysis of several recent clinical trials.
The New England Journal of Medicine which examined 11 such trails reveals a protective effect for high dose vitamin D supplementation against the risk of fracture in older men and women. While 800 international units (IU) or more of the vitamin was associated with reduced fracture risk, lower doses did not appear to be effective.
“Vitamin D supplementation is an efficient intervention for a costly injury that affects thousands of older adults each year,” remarked senior author and Tufts University School of Medicine professor Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD.
 “The average recovery is long and painful and deeply impacts quality of life. After a fracture, older patients may only regain partial mobility, resulting in a loss of independence that is personally demoralizing and that can place added stress on family members and caregivers.”
Dr Dawson-Hughes and her colleagues analyzed data from 31,022 individuals age 65 and older who were assigned to receive up to 2,000 IU oral vitamin D or a placebo in one of 11 randomized, controlled trials. Those who received the vitamin had a modest 10 percent lower risk of hip fracture and a 7 percent reduction in nonvertebral fracture overall; however, a stronger effect emerged for higher dose vitamin D when the participants were analyzed according to dosage. Among those whose vitamin D was among the top 25 percent of subjects at a median of 800 IU per day, there was a 30 percent lower adjusted risk of hip fracture and a 14 percent lower risk of nonvertebral fractures in comparison with those whose vitamin D intake was lowest.
 “Taking between 800 IUs and 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist and forearm in both men and women age 65 and older,” stated Dr Dawson-Hughes, who is the director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “Importantly, we saw there was no benefit to taking vitamin D supplements in doses below 800 IUs per day for fracture prevention.”
“Evaluation of individual-level data is the gold-standard of meta-analysis,” noted lead author Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, DPh, who is the director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich and Waid City Hospital, and a visiting scientist at the Bone Metabolism Laboratory.
 “Our results make a compelling contribution to the existing data on vitamin D and fracture risk in men and women age 65 and older, whose vulnerability to bone density loss and osteoporosis leave them prone to fractures resulting from thinning bones.”
High dose vitamin D is available at The Vitality Shop UK
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Why Vitamin D is vital, explains leading expert

The winter is finally here! The weather is colder and the sun sets before most of us even leave the office. How do you know if you are getting enough vitamin D and how much should you consume?


Vitamin D.jpeg

Dr John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences answers important questions on why this vitamin is so important to the optimum functioning of the human body:


What are the main functions of vitamin D in the body?


Vitamin D appears to have many functions in the body.  Every cell, regardless of where it is located has a vitamin D receptor.  This would indicate that vitamin D has multiple functions and the scientific evidence backs this up.  The best documentation of the importance of vitamin D is in bone health. Absorption and utilization of calcium appears to be a vitamin D controlled process. Other minerals including magnesium, boron and silicon may also depend on vitamin D to be absorbed and deposited into the bone matrix.  The RDA data for vitamin D is based solely on the function for uptake and utilization of minerals for bone health.  So while bone health, and prevention of osteoporosis is an extremely important function of vitamin D, it is part of what makes vitamin D important to your health.  There are numerous studies showing that Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune system function and for muscle strength.  Epidemiological studies also show links to glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, some cancers and CVD.


What are the best natural sources?


One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight.  15  to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am-2pm will make thousands of IU of vitamin D. Just be careful not to burn.  Dietary sources are lower.  Some product such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but the dose is usually low and the form is different than from sun exposure.  Some fish also have vitamin D but the amounts vary significantly.


-Is the vitamin D in milk etc a chemically made version and, if so, does it differ (like vitamin e) from the natural source? 


The story here is a little different than for vitamin E.  The form of vitamin D produced in skin naturally from sunlight is cholecalciferol or vitamin D3.  This is also the form used in most nutritiona
l supplements like USANA Vitamin D tablets.  Milk is fortified with vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol.  While it is naturally derived, it is not the same as the D3 that we produce naturally from sun exposure.  In addition there are several clinical studies on supplementation with D2 vs. D3, and it looks like D3 is more bioavailable, and a better choice.


What are the best ways to take vitamin D to ensure you’ve taken enough?


Dietary sources are not sufficient.  Even though milk, orange juice and fish do contain vitamin D, all of the data we have seen indicates that the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient.  The two best ways to get the vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure to exposed skin (without sun block) or to take a good vitamin D supplement.  In addition, the only good way to tell if you have adequate stores of vitamin D is to have a blood test run.  If your doctor asks for this test, be sure they measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in plasma, and the amount should be 40 – 60 ng/mL.


Does sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D?


Yes. To make vitamin D in the skin, UV light must hit the skin directly.  Sunscreen effectively blocks this, and almost no vitamin D will be produced if you apply sunscreen.


-How often should vitamin D be taken?


A daily supplement of 200 to 500

IU of vitamin D.


Why is vitamin D important?


It supports healthy bones, immune function, muscle strength, glucose control, and may help prevent auto immune disease and heart disease.



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The real detox

Yogatastic Don’t spend loads of money on detox packs or string yourself out on a disgusting syrup, juice and pepper concoction – commit to something which actually works…

Every year we say we will stop eating when we feel full, or have one or two fewer glasses of wine but it never works.Well now the forced excess is all over and it’s time for punishing ourselves with the latest detox and weight loss fad. Or is it?

Losing that bloated sinking feeling and getting yourself back on track for 2011 could be much simpler than you realise.

We know the celebrities all endorse various detox/weight loss plans and we understand why. They are under a great amount of pressure to look good and above all, be the slimmest they can be, which prompts drastic measures in even the least neurotic and anxious of people. For those of us living our mundane (cough) everyday lives, such drastic action is not required: a few little tweaks can make all the difference.

Here are six quick tips to banish that ‘jabba the hutt’ feeling:

1. Make sure you get enough sleep. When you are tired your body wants the high energy, quick fix food which is very bad news for your blood sugar level and waistline. Tired people are also less likely to have the energy to exercise. Tired people always look older: perhaps the most effective inducement to get enough shut-eye. Need any more reasons?!

2. As above, high energy/sugar food is very bad news for you (unless you are a super-duper fit athlete who burns a gazillion calories a day). Eating high sugar foods sends you up into the stratosphere for about 20 minutes until you crash back down to earth and into the biscuit cupboard. We don’t need to give it up completely, just reduce portion size and be careful not to eat your treat after dinner as those calories will be going nowhere fast.

3. Raise your heart rate for at least 15 minutes a day. We all have some lonely exercise equipment or one of the many computer console exercise programs to hand for a quick endorphin boost, so requires no extra spenditure.  It gives you a little extra energy to go about your business and you don’t have to trek to the gym to spend time with other sweaty people. Yuck.

4. Alcohol. We’re sorry to have to say this but if you want to feel better within a week, any delicious alcohol-based beverage is out. Alcohol is full of sugar. Wine is quite probably the healthiest of all the marketed beverages but still, as above, we know it is hard to restrict ourselves to just the one glass. So we advocate cutting it out for just a little while. Your liver will give thanks and you will very soon notice you are much less sluggish with better skin.

5. Fruit and veg. You may have heard the news, you may not have done, but here it is; we do not have to eat 5 portions of fruit or veg a day. Of course it is advisable to eat as much as you can without stressing or obsessing if for no other reason that by eating something green, you are not eating a big cake or pork pie. Fruit is nice as well. You may have forgotten how nice it is with all those sugar laden treats out there but if you manage to cut back your sugar intake you will rediscover just how naturally beautiful many fruits are. Try to eat the actual fruits instead of getting juice – the fibre helps slow the flow of sugar into your bloodstream.

6. Supplements. The most important are fish oil/omega 3 capsules which come with a side helping of Vitamin D – perfect for sharpening the old brain functions and making us feel less depressed about being mid-winter. There is no Vitamin D RDA and although we probably get enough help from the sun during summer, we need to supplement like crazy in winter. If you are over 50 you should be taking a Vitamin D supplement all year round. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to all the old life threatening bad pennies of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and more research needs to be done to see exactly what deficient people are missing out on. As far as other vitamins are concerned: if you can manage a small daily dose of vitamin C, this will also help to reduce your chances of getting a bad cold.

See, not a massive change, but will help you start to feel loads better and you might be inspired to effect a bigger change in your lifestyle. It doesn’t take much to get your body back on track – our organs, especially our main detox organ – the marvellous liver – are very resilient and do their very best job with just a little help from us.


Vitamin D – the hot anti-ageing nutrient for 2009


Vitamin D, one of the cheapest supplements on the market, is effective against most of the diseases of ageing, say experts.

But most men and women, do not have adequate levels to protect their immune system, according to several studies.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluable vitamin, which is sythesized by the skin from sunlight and also from dietary sources including diary foods such as milk, cheese and butter, oily fish and offal.

But 90% of the amount required by humans is synthesized from the sun – so if you live in the Northern Hemisphere you will likely be Vitamin D deficient, especially in winter.

Low levels of Vitamin D cause the serious bone disease rickets, which was prevalent in the 19th century.

According to the UK’s Health Supplements Information Service 71% of men and 78% of women are below the recommended daily average.

Today various studies have shown that men with low levels of Vitamin D suffer 2.42 times more heart attacks. There is good reason to believe that vitamin D protects the arterial system from fat and plaque build up which leads to ablocked arteries and atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

It also helps preven common forms of cancer – again, according to various studies, vitamin D deficient women have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer; women with the lowest levels were at at 222% increased risk of breast cancer and men with higher levels have a 52% reduced incidence of prostate cancer; low levels of vitamin D are predictive of fatal strokes. It also regulates blood pressure and immune function and cancer.

Dr John Jacob Cannel MD founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel in the US says:”Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects and peridontal disease.

“This does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the only cause of these diseases, or that you will not get them if you take vitamin D. What it does mean is that Vitamin D, and the many ways ia affects a person’s health, can no longer be overlooked by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.”

Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of almost every killer disease of ageing. In fact, a recent study shows that humans with low Vitamin D status are twice as likely to die over a seven year period.

Doctors are not trained to recognise vitamin D deficiency until rickets develop in children or osteomalacia (softening of the bones) developes in adults. Clinical vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed when blood levels of a vitamin D metabolite (25-hydroxyvitamin D) drop below

According to the world’s foremost experts, however, optimal levels of vitamin D are between 30 and 50 and higher. Those with blood levels below 30ng/ml are considered to have insufficient vitamin D.


Vitamin D may help against diseases of ageing


London: Vitamin D may help to slow down the ageing process and protect against degenerative diseases, according to new research from scientists at King’s College London.

Head researcher Brent Richards says: “These results are exciting because they demonstrate for the first time that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D.

“This could help explain how vitamin D has a protective effect on many age-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. What’s interesting is that there’s a huge body of evidence that shows sunshine ages your skin—but it also increases your vitamin D levels. So, like many times in medicine, we find there’s a trade-off”, Richards adds.

The study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at vitamin D levels in 2,160 women ages 18-79. It examined their white blood cells for genetic signs of aging. The women then were placed into three groups according to their vitamin D levels.

Science has placed telomeres as the most reliable measures of a person’s age. These are the lengths of genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell. With age, the telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes increasingly unstable. Eventually the cell dies.

The study found that those with the highest vitamin D levels had significantly longer telomeres (equivalent to five years of normal aging) than those showing the lowest vitamin D scores.

During summer, much of the vitamin D needed by the body is created by a reaction in the skin, which is powered by sunlight. In winter months where there is less sunshine, vitamin D comes largely from fortified products such as milk, soy milk and cereal grains. It can also be found in cod liver oil, wild salmon, Atlantic mackerel, shrimp and sardines.

“Although it might sound absurd, it’s possible that the same sunshine which may increase our risk of skin cancer may also have a healthy effect on the aging process in general,” says co-author Tim Spector.

The team of scientists opine that though large-scale trials are needed to confirm the discovery, if proved correct the finding could have a dramatic impact on healthcare.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to stroke

A shortage of vitamin D may be linked to an increased risk of stroke, according to research published in the journal Stroke.

Stroke patients often suffer a number of vitamin D deficiency-related symptoms such as a lowering of bone mineral density, changes in calcium homeostasis, and an increase in hip fractures. Vitamin D deficiency has already been associated with stroke and hip fractures.

The researchers measured vitamin D serum levels, every 2 months for 1 year, in 44 patients admitted to an acute stroke unit with those of 96 healthyelderly subjects. The stroke patients included in the study had not previously suffered from a stroke.

It was discovered that 77 percent of the stroke patients were deficient in vitamin D throughout the year. The researchers suggested that this deficiency may have preceded the occurrence of stroke.

According to the researchers, “Vitamin D is a potential risk marker for stroke, and the role of vitamin D repletion in enhancing musculoskeletal health after stroke needs to be explored.”