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 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