Is Vitamin D Deficiency Making You Tired?

Effect of Vitamin D3 on Self-Perceived Fatigue

A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted by doctors at Medical Outpatients Division University Hospital Zurich finds that Vitamin D3 treatment helps with, “significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.High-Potency Vitamin D3 - 50 IU

This was the first double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of per os (oral supplementation) vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in treating fatigue among otherwise healthy persons with low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels.

According to the study’s participants, as published at Nih.gov, “In this study, we aimed to test if a single vitamin D dose improves fatigue after 30 days among vitamin D deficient individuals who report fatigue but are otherwise healthy.”

122 patients participated in the study, with 59 receiving a 100,000 IU supervised dose of vitamin D3 while 63 received a placebo.

The abstract of the study stated its background as follows: “Vitamin D deficiency is frequent and has been associated with fatigue in uncontrolled trials.”

Vitamin D Deficiency is caused by spending too much time indoors, wearing too many clothes while outside on warm, sunny days, failure to supplement with high-quality supplements and failure to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D3 from food and dietary sources. [1]

According to separate study published in Annals of Epidemiology, a study study led by Dr. Cedric Garland, on the preventive measures of vitamin D, which projected that raising the minimum year round serum 25(OH)D level to 40 – 60 ng/ml (100-150nmo/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three quarters of deaths from these diseases, in the US and Canada. [2]

Woman Sunbathing for Vitamin D3

The study, which is published at the National Institutes of Health Medial Library, defined enrollment criteria as follows:

To qualify for our enrollment criteria of vitamin D deficiency at baseline, we required a 25(OH)D level below 20 μg/L, this threshold has been used according to the latest report on dietary requirements for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine.

25(OH) vitamin D was analyzed at the time of the screening assessment in the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of Zurich, using an automated immunoassay (Cobas 8000 Analyser; Roche Diagnostics, Rotkreuz, Switzerland).

Additional laboratory measures included: intact PTH, calcium, phosphate, hemoglobin, ferritin, thyroid-stimulating hormone, C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, creatine kinase.

The criteria used for determining study participants is as follows:

Study participants with fatigue were enrolled at the Medical Outpatients Division University Hospital Zurich. Healthy individuals who suffer from fatigue were recruited by posting announcements on in-house info boards and on the intranet of the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich. Healthy subjects of 20 to 50 years with a body mass index (BMI) of 18 to 25 kg/m2 were further evaluated for inclusion.

Exclusion criteria were intake of vitamin D preparations during 8 weeks prior to study enrollment, pregnancy or lactation, hypersensitivity to vitamin D, any known cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, or hepatic disease, anemia, hyper- and hypocalcemia (corrected serum calcium levels >2.54 mmol/L or <2.09 mmol/L, respectively, the normal range given by the local laboratory), presence of muscle or bone disease, severe infection, inflammation, malignancy, known mental disorders, sleep disorders, chronic intake of concurrent medication, except oral contraceptives, known chronic kidney disease with glomerular filtration rate (CKD-EPI-estimated) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, medication affecting physical or mental performance, participation in any other therapeutic trial within the previous month, inability to follow the procedures of the study, for example, due to language problems, psychological disorders, dementia etc., enrollment of the investigator, his/her family members, employees, and other dependent persons (Supplemental Table).

The study used vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in doses of 100,000 IU, administered by way of two capsules that looked identical to the placebo.

The results of the research are truly fascinating. The  results showed that 100,000 IE single dose vitamin D supplements lead to a significant improvement in fatigue in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group.

Result:

The mean age of the participants was 29 ± 6 years, 53% were women. Mean FAS decreased significantly more in the vitamin D group (−3.3 ± 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] for change −14.1 to 4.1) compared with placebo (−0.8 ± 5.3; 95% CI for change −9.0 to 8.7); (P = 0.01). Amelioration of fatigue was reported more frequently in vitamin D than in placebo group (42 [72%] vs. 31 [50%]; P = 0.01; odds ratio [OR] 2.63, 95% CI for OR 1.23–5.62). Among all participants, improvement in fatigue score correlated with the rise in 25(OH)D level (R = −0.22, P = 0.02).

Conclusion:

Vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.

Sources:

Primary Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5207540/

Reversing Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency (A Reader’s Experience)

By: Elena W. (Vitamin D3 Blog Reader)

Editor’s Note: The following story was submitted to the Vitamin D3 Blog as a comment. Due to its length and the dramatic nature of the claims made herein, the editorial decision was made to publish the comment as a standalone post/article. The Vitamin D3 Blog cannot vouch for the accuracy or legitimacy of the claims contained within this reader’s account of her experience with vitamin D deficiency. The following is her story, and does not reflect the views, opinions or beliefs of the Vitamin D3 Blog, its writers or editorial staff.

Liquid Vitamin D3 Supplements, Sunbathing Ended Years of Suffering

I developed severe unbearable pain in the back of my neck in June 2009. It took six months to receive a diagnosis, and after that I had to go through six months of medications that did not work. My condition got progressively worse.

In May of 2010 I underwent fundoplication surgery for Larynpharengeal Reflux. Over the next five months worsened even more.

Even though the PH studies showed the surgery reduced the reflux into the throat from 40 to 0.4. While that was quite an improvement in terms of PH, however my overall condition continued to worsen to the point that I began to lose approximately two pounds each day simply because I couldn’t swallow water.

After being sent to a mental health clinic in the region where I retired, my new doctors assumed my condition was stressed induced, and likely all in my head. It was at that point that I began to take over my own treatment regimen.Probiotic Supplements (Medical Grade)

I observed major improvement with medical-grade doses of probiotics. However, there was no other improvement to speak of. Still, that result was nonetheless better than what modern medicine was able to achieve.

In April of 2011, still burning severely in my whole throat/neck/head area, I developed two additional health problems: a progressively worsening incontinence and severe shoulder pain, respectively. The shoulder pain was severe and I was unable to even lift my arms.

In Aug 2011 I went to the head regional gastroenterologist to request that I be sent to an outside medical system for a second opinion and that the HMO pay for it. The head GI said three things to me, “We don’t know what you have but it’s not LPR; we are not going to pay for an outside opinion; and you have to learn to live with the pain.”

By now, I didn’t even bother to share with my doctors that I had developed incontinence and severe shoulder pain. I basically knew intuitively that my doctors were incompetent and failed to think outside of the box. All they were able to do was to go through their routine medical periodicals.

Fortunately for me, I never stopped researching my illness, and slowly pieced together that my illnesses was due to weak esophageal muscles. It was sort of like atrophy, because the fundoplication should have significantly helped me and it didn’t. I came home from that August 2011 meeting with the head regional GI doctor and wept. I knew I was doomed to a slow death, and my ability to cope with acid burn on the sensitive throat nerves was reaching a point of causing me to lose my ability to cope with the constant pain. I was sleeping no more than 5 minutes at a time at night, and I paced all day to walk off the nerve/throat pain.

However, my luck was about to change for the better. I had a moment of clarity and sat down at the computer and did a web search for “what strengthens muscles”, and up popped different articles, several  of which mentioned Vitamin D3.

Sunbathing as a Vitamin D3 Source

I sat up. I saw that athletes use it for muscle strength. When I read that it hit me — I had avoided the sun for 40 years! I was a textbook example of what can happen in cases of severe vitamin D deficiency.

I had mistakenly believed all the articles I had read stating that the sun was bad for the skin. I immediately sent a email to my primary care physician and without saying why, told her I wanted a vitamin D test (a Liquid Vitamin D3 Supplementsblood test to determine vitamin D levels relative to what is defined as “normal” ranges) as well as a vitamin B12 test.

I studied the types of vitamin D, and learned that D3 was definitely the best form to take as a supplement. I immediately ordered some 10,000 IU liquid vitamin D3 supplements.

I received my D3 drops three days later and within 24-48 hours the deep pain in my shoulder blades had vanished and the bladder incontinence disappeared. Even the LPR slowly began to lift.

It’s been 2.5 years and I continue to improve with LPR. I now travel during vacation down the latitude of the planet toward the equator for sunshine. I live at the 38th latitude on the planet and have researched that the sun is best at 1 pm (due to daylight savings time) from mid-April to mid-September, and I get about 10-13 minutes of direct sunshine every day that I can.

My health has improved in ways I can not explain. However, these are very real, albeit somewhat subtle. For example, I’ve had severe weakness of the legs since I was 40 years old. I’m 62 right now and my legs climb stairs with no problem.

I feel so strong now that I finally have energy! I don’t drag through the day, and my sleeping patterns have seen a world of improvement. I used to frequently fall ill with a variety of ailments. Now I rarely get sick. My skin has improved, and in spite of everything mentioned herein, I can’t help but think I’m omitting something.

Man Sunbathing for Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 supplements have worked wonders for my health. While I cannot scientifically prove that the D3 is the sole reason for my dramatic improvement in terms of my overall health, I know without one iota of doubt that were it not for the vitamin D, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t even be alive today, much less in the best health I can recall being in for the vast majority of my adult life.

Elena W.

The Vitamin D3 Blog would like to thank Elena for contributing her experience with Vitamin D Deficiency!

Note: Images do not necessarily depict those of the reader or the brand of supplements she takes.

Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels

A new study appears to show a link between healthy vitamin D intake and healthy testosterone levels, and/or a link between low vitamin D levels and low testosterone. Which is it? More research is needed, say the scientists who conducted the study.

Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels

Vitamin D Deficiency has already been shown to lead to an increased propensity for developing dozens of different illnesses, diseases and other conditions. Conversely, healthy levels of vitamin D3 by way of sun exposure or supplementation have been shown to help strengthen the immune system and stave off numerous diseases. Well, theres more news on the vitamin D front, and this latest news involving the miracle sunshine vitamin appears to bode especially well for men particularly those whose age is at (or in excess of) the age at which testosterone levels typically begin to decline in males.

Testosterone and Vitamin D

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and low levels can result in a decreased sex drive, metabolic slowing and decreased muscle mass, among other things.

The most recent news is that high serum levels of Vitamin D have been clinically shown to boost testosterone levels in men. This according to a new study conducted by Katharina Nimptsch and associates at the Harvard School of Public Health[1], and which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology earlier this year.

In their report on the trial, Nimptsch and company suggested that vitamin D may increase the production of testosterone in men, and experimental animal studies and at least one cross-sectional study appear to show a positive link between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D and testosterone production in men. The scientists determined that once vitamin D levels reached the point of 75 to 85 nmol per liter, the relationship with increased testosterone production appeared to taper off.

A similar association was also observed between levels of serum vitamin D and free testosterone.

At lower levels, the amount of the increase in testosterone production was proportionate to the increase in vitamin D levels, which in the study were ingested in the form of vitamin D3 supplements.

Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D obtained through sun exposure and a process of internal synthesis involving the bodys vitamin D receptors. D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is the most readily absorbed form of vitamin D available as a supplement, and is far more effective than the synthetic vitamin D2, the use of which as a supplement in humans has become controversial in recent years.

Testosterone Vitamin D

The scientists who conducted the trial stopped short of asserting a definitive causality between increased vitamin D3 intake and increased testosterone levels. The report made it a point of clarifying that more research is needed to determine whether the relationship between increased vitamin D intake (or synthesis if obtained from sunlight) results in increased testosterone, or if low testosterone is merely a byproduct of low vitamin D to begin with. While this may appear to be a tomato-tomahto argument for some, the scientists were careful to assert that more research was needed before any sort of causality between vitamin D levels and testosterone levels could be established.

In the scientists own words:

This study supports previously reported positive associations between vitamin D and testosterone although we did not observe parallel seasonal variation patterns. Possible causality and direction of the vitamin D-testosterone association deserve further scientific investigation.

In any case, testosterone-boosting medications and supplements have become a booming industry over the past couple of years, and it is possible that men across the country and world may be unnecessarily paying excessive prices for doctors visits, testosterone-enhancing medicines and high-end supplements which may have adverse side-effects. If all that is needed to achieve healthy testosterone levels is increased sun exposure and/or a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement, then hundreds of thousands if not millions of men could be saving hundreds of dollars while safely and naturally achieving the same ends (increased levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone) without all the risks, negative side-effects and foreign chemicals found in some of these other testosterone boosting medicines and supplements.

Vitamin D and Low Testosterone

[1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04332.x/abstract

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

By: Pamela Egan

A new study out of Iran has determined that individuals suffering from inadequate serum levels of vitamin D have more than double the chances of becoming schizophrenic than do people who obtain healthy amounts of the letter vitamin/hormone.

Low Vitamin D Serum Levels Doubles Chances of Becoming Schizophrenic

Vitamin D-3 Drops (Supplement)Unlike a traditional study, the research published July 22 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism constitutes what is known as a “meta analysis”. In a meta analysis, unlike a traditional experiment, study or clinical trial, instead of conducting original research using volunteers (test subjects), a control group and different variables to determine how the different variables react (or don’t react) to the volunteers under various circumstances; the researchers instead review previously conducted research. The objective is to review numerous studies which are similar in nature in an attempt to discern any patterns or other data that may surface in the presence of macro-data that may not be as obvious within the context of a single study.

In this particular instance, the researchers reviewed 19 different studies encompassing a combined total of over 2,800 people studied. The purpose of the research was to determine if any discernible link could be established between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.

The scientists were surprised to discover that not only does vitamin D deficiency predispose an individual to developing schizophrenia, a grouping of psychiatric disorders characterized by among other things hallucinations, difficulty speaking, delusions and disoriented thoughts, but did so by a substantial margin. As it turns out, those who suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone – not a vitamin), a condition known as “vitamin D deficiency” or “vitamin D deficiency syndrome”, are more than two times as likely to become schizophrenic than are people who maintain normal/healthy levels of the hormone/nutrient. The exact figure is 2.16 times more likely for those whose levels are inadequate relative to those whose are.

While co-author Dr. Ahmad Esmaillzadeh expressed hope that his team’s findings “might help psychiatrists in the healing process of patients with schizophrenia,” he cautioned against jumping to any conclusions with regard to the role (if any) vitamin D supplements will play in the prevention and treatment of this mentally trying condition.

“Controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the effects of vitamin D supplementation,” Esmaillzadeh added.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Schizophrenia – Video

Vitamin D3 Can Help Combat Inflammation

Vitamin D3 May Help Reduce Inflammation

By: Pamela Egan, MN, FNP

At the root of many, many chronic diseases and illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc., is inflammation. If one can keep inflammation at bay, that person has successfully won half of the aging battle.

Vitamin D SunlightResearch shows you can drastically reduce your risk of cancer and countless other chronic diseases by getting safe sun exposure, or taking a high quality Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplement. Vitamin D3 deficiency has been associated with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Colon Cancer, Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Auto-Immune Disease, Neuro-degenerative Diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Osteoporosis, Depression, and also Breast Cancer.

Personally, I can always tell when my D3 levels falls lower than 60 because my feet get achy. However, this occurrence is rare as I make a point of regularly obtaining the nutrient through a variety of Vitamin D3 Sources.

Sun, Vitamin D and Inflammation

New data on nutrition and heart disease presented at a recent symposium and published in the July issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences shows that low vitamin D levels are a common problem affecting numerous health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure and ischemic heart disease.

I have many patients with auto-immune disease including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus who are off of their medications including steroids and methotrexate with vitamin D3 10,000iu/day plus a course of prescription strength probiotics such as VSL-3VSL #3.  Many patients with hypertension are managed with Vitamin D3 5000 iu twice a day + Magnesium Glycinate 100mg twice a day.

High-quality vitamin d3 supplements are available at EGAN Wellness Clinic, the clinic’s online supplement shop and other providers of high-end nutritional supplements. It is important to actually purchase a high-quality supplement as opposed to grocery store and pharmacy brands, which are not anywhere near equal to the vitamin D3 made by companies like Douglas Laboratories, EGAN Wellness / EGAN Nutrition or a BioTech. The Vitamin D3 Blog provides this information for those who may be better off taking such a supplement (as opposed to receiving a flu vaccine) but don’t know where to obtain one that will achieve the desired results.

Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a health columnist from Covington, LA.

Vitamin D3: The Forgotten Hormone

Vitamin D3: The Forgotten Hormone

By: Pamela Egan

What is one of the cheapest and easiest interventions in medicine that would save the most lives and the most money? It reduces inflammation in your heart, brain & joints. It stops bone loss and protects you from osteoporosis, diabetes & obesity. It strengthens your immune system and helps retard bacterial and viral infections. It helps prevent several different cancers. It helps cure fibromyalgia, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. If you’ve read my past health columns, you know that I am referring to natural, active Vtamin D3, not synthetic D2.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is essential for life. You may ask why are Americans so deficient in Vitamin D3? Let’s take a look at evolutionary biology. Our ancestors lived naked in the sun for several million years. Through evolution, sunlight was needed to produce Vitamin D. Then 50,000 years ago, some of us migrated north to places with less sun. Then we put on clothes, started working inside and living in cities where buildings blocked the sun.

We started traveling in cars instead of walking or riding horses and glass blocked even more UVB in the sunlight. Only a few years ago, we started actively avoiding the sun and putting on sun block. All this time we humans have been steadily reducing the tissue levels of the most potent steroid hormone in our bodies, one with powerful anti-cancer properties.

The really significant reductions in sunlight exposure have occurred since the industrial revolution, just the time the “diseases of civilization,” like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer became prominent.

vitamin D hormone

So what can a Vitamin D3 deficiency lead to? At least 17 varieties of cancer including: Breast, Bladder, Colon, Lymphoma, Ovarian, Endometrial, and Prostate. Heart disease, High Blood pressure, Stroke, Autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes Type 1 & 2, Depression, Chronic Pain, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Muscle Weakness, Obesity, Periodontal Disease, Infectious Disease, & more. Vitamin D3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory and those of us in the Anti-Aging industry that reducing inflammation is half the aging battle won!

The research is astonishing! So how much Vitamin D3 do we need per day?

Ask your primary care provider to check your serum vitamin D3/ 25(OH) level. The optimum range is 80 – 100 ng/ml. No toxicity was seen with D3 levels less than 150 ng/ml.

The optimum dose of Vitamin D3 is 5000 – 15,000IU per day. (I personally take 10,000IU D3 daily to maintain my 25(OH) level between 80 – 100. A weekly dose of 50,000 IU D3 is OK. Fewer supplements are needed if you receive more sun exposure. Maybe they knew something we didn’t know in those nudist colonies.

Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Specialist in Gerontology/Mental Health, & Certified Diabetes Educator. She can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.

Vitamin D3 Benefits: Autism and ADHD

Can Vitamin D3 Help Reduce the Rates of Autism, ADHD?

By: Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP, CDE

In addition to research that indicates that Vitamin D3 can help drastically reduce your risk of Seasonal Flu and Swine Flu, the super-vitamin also appears to have a role in combating Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) as well as Autism.

Vitamin D Autism

More than 4.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Health officials believe the incidence of autism is 1 in 150. The incidence among boys is even higher: 1 in 94.  Vitamin D’s role in the development of the brain begins when the human brain undergoes its most rapid and complex formation between the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life.  Some of the new literature on vitamin D3 suggests that it may be that a maternal vitamin D3 deficiency sets the stage for autism. When combined with the right genetic propensity, which is linked to a high risk of autoimmune disorders, activating an immune reaction in the brain may trigger the effects on brain development associated with autism.

In this way, daily ingestion of a high-quality vitamin d3 supplement by pregnant mothers may help reduce the rates of ADHD and Autism in future generations.

Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a  health columnist from Covington, LA. Her website is www.pamelaegan.com.

Nurse Practitioner Egan has written extensively about the topic of vitamin d3. Links to some of her articles about the subject have been included below.

Pam’s Vitamin D3 Articles:

  • Vitamin D3 Sources – Article about the various sources through which one can obtain vitamin d3. These include sunlight, egg yolks and cold liver oil.
  • Vitamin D3: The Miracle of Sunshine – Comprehensive article covers virtually all angles of discussion regarding the topic of vitamin d3. The article touches upon the differences between vitamins d2 and d3, the role of sunlight in the creation of d3, d3 deficiency and the many, many health benefits associated with consistently healthy levels of the nutrient being present in an individual.
  • Vitamin D3: Are You Getting Enough? – Article covering the basics of vitamin d3, emphasizing the importance of the nutrient and warning against the dangers of being d3 deficient. The article recommends sunbathing, in the nude if possible, as a means of countering d3 deficiency.
  • Experts Call for Increased Dosage of Vitamin D3 – Article discussing vitamin d3 dosage, and research that suggests that additional health benefits may be obtained by increasing the amount of intake.
  • Vitamin D3 May Help Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – Article discussing scientific research that seemingly establishes a relationship between vitamin d3, blood pressure and cholesterol. The study found that as vitamin d levels decreased, blood pressure and cholesterol tended to rise, and vice versa.

Vitamin D as a Flu Shot Alternative

Vitamin D3: An Alternative to Flu Vaccine?

Could flu prevention be as simple as ensuring one has adequate levels of vitamin D? At least one doctor thinks so.

Flu Shot

At the bottom of this article is a short video of Dr. John Cannell, MD, discussing the health benefits of vitamin d, particularly as it pertains to the effects of vitamin d on the immune system.

The doctor begins be stating that anyone who takes 5,000 iu of vitamin d3 every can attest to the immune benefits offered by the nutrient by confirming that they no longer get sick.

He claims that “any infection disease” be it bacterial, viral or even fungal, that is more common in the wintertime, is “a target” of vitamin d. He claims that vitamin d has a tremendous effect in preventing the common cold and flu, a result of the nutrient’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.

The doctor elaborates on the subject of vitamin d deficiency, comparing the rates of infection for various diseases in the normal population versus in those that are vitamin d deficient, citing that rates of infection are several times higher in those that are deficient.

Also discussed is the effect of vitamin d as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping to reduce inflammation and in the process, strengthen the immune system. This may be part of the reason vitamin d3 may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and is widely believed to help protect against heart disease.

The doctor goes much farther into detail in the video than I can document in this post. He spends a significant amount of time discussing the relationship between vitamin d deficiency and influenza, including avian flu, the common influenza, as well as H1N1 flu.

Finally, the opinions expressed in the video are those of the doctor depicted in the video, and do not necessarily reflect those of this blog, its author, or any partner sites.

Disclaimer: Neither this blog or its author are advocating either for or against anyone receiving a flu shot. That decision is between an individual and his or her doctor.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Myriad Diseases

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Myriad Diseases

UPDATE: The list of diseases, illnesses and various other health maladies that have been scientifically linked to Vitamin D Deficiency now stands at 32. The updated version of the list is posted at the bottom of the article.

If you’ve been following the news at all for the past year, you’ve probably read that Vitamin D — Vitamin D3 specifically — helps boost the immune system.  You’ve probably also read that increasing volumes of research seem to indicate a relationship between Vitamin D Deficiency and various diseases.  What you may not have known is just how many different diseases and conditions are now being linked scientifically to deficient levels of this vital nutrient.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify the difference between Vita
min D3
and regular Vitamin D. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is the form of the vitamin manufactured within the human body from sunlight. It is the most active and bioavailable form of the nutrient, which translated to better absorption within the body. The alternative form of the vitamin is known as D2, or Ergocalciferol.

Over the past several years, the general consensus of experts has been rapidly shifting in the direction of declaring Vitamin D2 a nutrient unfit for supplement form. This is due in part to health experts such as Nurse Practitioner and Health Columnist Pam Egan, who dared to challenge the conventional wisdom regarding Vitamin D at a time when the term “Vitamin D3″ was largely unheard of. Mrs. Egan has been distinguishing between the two forms of the vitamin in her published writings for most of the past decade, including a couple of years at the beginning when her peers wrote off her claims as speculative.

While scanning news headlines recently, I was simply awed by the sheer number of stories about the establishment of scientific links between Vitamin D3 Deficiency and disease. In light of this experience, I have assembled a partial list of the seemingly endless diseases and conditions for which the nutritional shortcoming is a contributing factor.

In no particular order, the following is a partial list of some of the diseases and conditions caused in part by Vitamin D Deficiency.


Diseases and Conditions Linked to Vitamin D3 Deficiency:

1. Parkinson’s Disease – Two new studies suggest that older people who are deficient in Vitamin D may be more likely to develop the neurological disorder.  The first study was directed by Paul Knekt of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.  David Llewellyn of Italy’s Exeter University spearheaded the second study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Source

2. Asthma – A new study conducted by the Harvard Medical School in Boston found that children low in Vitamin D3 were more likely to suffer an asthma attack requiring hospitalization than were children with healthy levels of the vitamin. Source

3. Chronic Pain – Two studies – one by Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, the other by the Mayo Clinic – appear to show a link between Vitamin D Deficiency and chronic pain. Source

4. Childhood Obesity – A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that Vitamin D deficient children are likely to have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than their better-nourished schoolmates. Source

5. Osteoporosis in Patients with IBD – A study by the American College of Gastroenterology indicates that Vitamin D deficient patients with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, osteopenia and an overall higher rate of abnormal bone density. Source

6. Autoimmune Disorders – A study published in Genome Research indicates that people with insufficient Vitamin D are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and Crohn’s disease. Source

7. Arterial Stiffness – The Endocrine Society published a study this past summer linking Vitamin D Deficiency to arterial stiffness in black teens. Source

8. Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome – Researchers from Johns Hopkins University presented a study at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting establishing a link between Vitamin D Deficiency and Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, which is the medical precursor to diabetes. Source

9. Cancer, Heart Disease and More – The following study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition establishes the preventive benefits of Vitamin D3 with regard to various forms of cancer, heart disease and numerous others. Source

10. Rickets – This one has long-been established as fact by the medical and scientific communities, so I therefore feel no need to include specifics or cite sources.  The link has been firmly established and repeatedly confirmed.

11. Inflammation – A 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirmed a link between Vitamin D Deficiency in otherwise healthy women and increased inflammation. Source

12. Autism – There is an increasing body of evidence that Vitamin D Deficiency is a contributing factor to autism. Dr. John Cannell, a psychiatrist and prominent vitamin D advocate, says flagging levels of the vitamin in pregnant women and young children could be the elusive factor explaining the rising rate of autism. Source

13. ADHD – Recent studies from the past several years increasingly point to a relationship between low levels of Vitamin D3 and an aggravation/intensification of the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

14. Influenza & Swine Flu – Research presented by John Cannell, MD of the Vitamin D Council showed that Vitamin D3 is protective against seasonal flu. Further research performed by Norris Glick, MD and Ellie Campbell, DO, showed that Vitamin D3 helps prevent H1N1 Flu. Further, Dr. John Cannell showed that Vitamin D3 deficiency activates the influenza virus (the Flu).

15. Fibromyalgia – A study published in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association determined that Vitamin D3 deficiency is frequently seen in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Source

16. Hypertension & High Cholesterol – Evidence from numerous clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that increased dosages of Vitamin D3 can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol in patients deficient in the nutrient. Source

17. Depression – A scientific link between low Vitamin D3 levels and depression has been established following several recent studies confirming the relationship. According to one such study by scientists at Georgia State University: “The likelihood of having depression in persons with vitamin D deficiency is significantly higher compared to those with vitamin D sufficiency. Early diagnosis and intervention are paramount because coexistence of vitamin D deficiency and depression has serious negative consequences on health.” Source

18. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with the chronic fatigue in patients with traumatic brain injury. Source

19. Tooth Decay – There is strong evidence indicating a relationship linking Vitamin D Deficiency to cavities and tooth decay. Dozens of studies were conducted in the 1930′s and 1940′s on this very subject. More than 90% of those studies concluded that supplementing children with vitamin D prevents cavities. Source

20. Lung Transplant Rejection – Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a significant increase in lung transplant rejection, according to research conducted at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). Source

Please keep in mind that this is only a partial list of the myriad of diseases and adverse conditions that are either caused in part by or aggravated by Vitamin D Deficiency, or that can largely be prevented with adequate sun exposure and/or supplemental intake.  Check back as I will be posting a follow-up article sometime in the near future listing even more diseases for which this nutritional shortage is a contributing factor.

Updated List of Diseases Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Autism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Allergies
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression
  • AIDS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rickets
  • Influenza
  • H1N1 Flu
  • Various Autoimmune Disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lung Transplant Rejection
  • Asthma
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Chronic Pain
  • Tooth Loss
  • Gingivitis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Arterial Stiffness
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

Dermatologists Disagree with Vitamin D Council

Dermatologists Disagree with Vitamin D Council

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has come under fire for a recent statement issued on behalf of the organization claiming that sun exposure is not necessary in order for a person to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol).

American Academy of Dermatology

A group known as The Vitamin D Council blasted the dermatologists association in response to the statement, claiming the statement was an attempt to protect the Academy from potential liabilities stemming from previous campaigns to increase sunscreen use, which the Council claims resulted in mass-vitamin d deficiencies.

Vitamin D Council

In response to the outpouring of criticism stemming from its earlier statement, the AAD released a revised statement in which the semantics appear to have been tinkered with but little actually changed substantively speaking.  Though the wording was slightly different, the group stood by its claim that people should obtain vitamin d through food and not via the sun. The reason, they claim, is that the costs in terms of damage to the skin outweigh the benefits brought about by the vitamin d3.

American Academy of Dermatology Website:  http://www.aad.org/index.html

The Vitamin D Council’s Website: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/