Vitamin D Deficiency Can Wreak Havoc on Health
So why do we need this so much?
It has been shown through various studies that the recommended dose of vitamin D for humans is dramatically low! Most doctors will recommend the following (see diagram below).
However, it has been proven that we need much more! It is important though to mention before you go on vitamin D supplementation (to increase your levels) to check with your doctor first to make sure that there’s no clash with any current medication you may be taking OR an underlying health issue.
If you look at the chart above for example; women aged 51-70 years and are only recommended 400IU of vitamin D daily but in the article by doctor John J Cannell and his PhD friend Bruce W Hollis titled “Use of vitamin D in clinical practice” where they state:
“Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy patients with 2,000-7,000 IU vitamin D3 per day should be sufficient to maintain yearround 25(OH)D levels between 40-70 ng/mL.”
Also you’ll notice men of the same age group are given the same recommendation. This is why it’s so important to do your own extensive research and it’s my hope that this blog article helps to she some light on this.
THIS INFORMATION IS PURELY INTENDED TO INFORM AND NOT TO ADVISE.
Listen to what Ian Wishart says in his book; ‘Vitamin D – is this the miracle vitamin’ about Australians and our prevalence to vitamin D deficiency:
“Even in Melbourne and Adelaide at the end of the summer of 2009, 42% of women and 27% of men were vitamin D deficient. Given the Aussie summer sun, they shouldn’t have been”
So why is this the case?
Think about the ‘Slip Slop Slap’ campaign and how for decades we’ve been taught to avoid the sun at every expense. Well sadly that expense has been our health!
The truth is, we need the sunshine on our skin for optimal wellbeing and disease-prevention. This is a fact! And I’m not saying that you should go out and bake yourself like a potato in the middle of the day but it is vital to get at least 15 minutes of unprotected sunshine each day if possible (if you can’t achieve this then keep reading to find out your next best solution..). It’s important to mention that the sun should be early or late sunshine (before 9am and after 3pm).
If you live in a cold, dark climate or you’re indoors more often than not, you may wish to consider vitamin D supplementation.
Ok, so how can being deficient affect our health?
After doing much research into this, I was gobsmacked how serious vitamin D deficiency truly is! It’s not just a problem for teeth and bones but much more! The list of health conditions and diseases is astounding, here are just some of them:
- Asthma, allergies, autism and Alzheimer’s
- Breast, colon, prostate and skin cancer
- Heart disease, stroke and erectile dysfunction
- Common infections such as colds and flu
- Crohn’s disease and Diabetes type 1
- Mental illnesses (depression, Bi-polar and psychotic behaviour)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Infertility problems
I don’t know about you as I can only speak for myself, but I know that nobody is responsible for my health but me! I know that my health is not in the hands of a doctor or even a naturopath for that matter. I understand the level of knowledge that a doctor has and where his/her ability lies. I also know that majority of doctors don’t study the fundamental to health (nutrition) so in my opinion, they know very little about vitamins, minerals and other crucial nutrients.
This is why I have taken full ownership of my own health and why I research things thoroughly! I suggest you may wish to do the same rather than believing blindly what doctors tell you. Don’t get me wrong, doctors are mostly well-meaning and have the best of intentions but they are also not god and society gives them way too much power (again, this is my opinion, you may have a different perspective and that’s totally fine).
This motivates me to keep on digging deeper and finding the solutions so that folks like you can live a better quality of life. They say “knowledge is power” but I’ll take it one step further and say “applied knowledge is more powerful”.
So with that said let’s get right into the nitty gritty of this article, the reason you’re here reading this right now; how can being deficient affect our health?
In a major study¹ published in the American Journey of Cardiology where 10,899 patients enrolled in a cardiovascular program there were some incredible findings.
- Vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with a higher survival rate
- Vitamin D lowered mortality (death) by 164%!
- Patients not given vitamin D supplements increased their mortality risk by a whopping 272%!
- Vitamin D deficient heart patients were almost 3 times more likely to die
- Vitamin D deficient heart patients are more likely to develop Diabetes mellitus
The conclusion of this study was that the patients who had high vitamin D supplementation from day 1 had the best rate of survival and the ones who relied soley on heart medication without vitamin D supplementation were most likely to die.
It’s clear after this that we must get our vitamin D levels up either through adequate sunshine, supplementation, food or all of the above, for the best chance at longevity and disease-prevention.
Everyday infections such as colds and flus can be knocked on the head with certain herbal extracts (such as kaloba) but it has also been shown that vitamin D can do the same thing. It’s important to note that usage must be consistent.
The reason vitamin D works so well is because it’s known to be an immune system-stimulator, producing natural antibiotics thus protecting the body from infection.² Other infections such as tuberculosis and hospital super bugs have been shown to dislike a body that’s efficient in vitamin D, so rather than vaccinating against TB³, perhaps consider upping the vitamin D?
Conception, Pregnancy & Childhood
If a couple are trying to conceive it might be worthwhile getting a check up to see if the vitamin D levels are adequate, seeing that vitamin D deficiency can have a negative effect on fertility.¹ Another interesting fact reported in the Journal of clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is that vitamin D deficient pregnant women are much more likely to have a C-section rather than a natural birth.
What happens in the womb doesn’t just affect the birth but also a lack of this vital nutrient can affect a child for his/her entire life.
Low levels of vitamin D may also be linked to second trimester miscarriage.²
Low levels of vitamin D in expecting mums can cause babies to be born at a low weight but on the other extreme, they can end up fatter by the age of six.³
The next paragraph is quoted from Ian Wishart’s book ‘Vitamin D: Is this the miracle vitamin?’
“Apart from its work in the developing brain, vitamin D may confer protection in other ways, such as boosting immunity. Studies have shown that pregnant women who catch influenza are more at risk of having a schizophrenic child, therefore a vitamin that reduces your risk of flu (vitamin D) may also be reducing the risk of mental illness in your unborn child. The most important study to date on the topic reveals catching the flu in the first trimester carries a 700% risk increase.”
Obtaining & Maintaining an Erection
Vitamin D plays a major role in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system (as mentioned earlier) and the pumping of blood to extremities such as fingers, toes and genitals (the penis). So it just makes sense that a person suffering erectile disfunction/disorder should consider getting a vitamin D checkup.
Not only does vitamin D have a role in getting and maintaining an erection but it also helps to boost fertility and create healthy sperm¹.
Erectile dysfunction is no joke! It can be an indication that something much worse is going on and can even be deadly (heart attack or stroke).
From what you can probably gather (from what’s been shared so far) the importance of proper vitamin D levels is crucial for good health and disease-prevention and another area of health that vitamin D can help is mental health.
The importance of adequate vitamin D intake cannot be underestimated in the prevention of some mental illnesses such as depression, Bi-polar disorder and psychotic behaviour.² A study called “Vitamin D and Psychotic features in mentally-ill adolescents- a cross sectional study: concluded the following:
“Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are both highly prevalent in adolescents with severe mental illness”.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Because MS is a neurological disease that has resulted in the degradation of the myelin, there have been studies into the role that vitamin D deficiency in it’s cause. Without myelin (the fatty protection around the nerves) your nerves can’t send messages throughout your body.¹
Crohn’s disease has been linked to a deficiency in vitamin D and it’s been known for a long time that Crohn’s sufferers have notably low levels of vitamin D.¹ The main reason vitamin D is believed to work for preventing Crohn’s disease is because of the role D plays in stimulating the immune system (Crohn’s is an auto-immune disease).²
Remember, vitamin D helps the body to make it’s own natural antibiotics that don’t destroy gut health (unlike the type that the doctor prescribes).
Diabetes type 1 is another extremely common autoimmune disease and it is also linked to vitamin D deficiency. It’s been proven that giving your kids adequate vitamin D3 supplementation, allowing them safe time in the sunshine (without sunscreen), feeding them a diet rich in vitamin D foods such as beef liver, egg yolks and fatty fish such as wild salmon and sardines can reduce a child’s risk of developing Diabetes type 1.¹
This info. only scratches the surface! I haven’t even gone into how vitamin D deficiency relates to Alzheimer’s, allergies, asthma and cancer. I would highly suggest you invest in a copy of Ian Wishart’s book ‘Vitamin D: Is This The Miracle Vitamin’ as it goes much more in depth.
It also talks about the danger of sunscreens and how sunscreens could actually be causing melanoma (rather than preventing them). The book talks in depth about the best sources of vitamin D. I cannot rate this book highly enough and I’m so glad my hubby picked it up that day in Oliver’s restaurant.
1 “Vitamin D deficiency and supplementation and relation to cardiovascular health: Vacek et al, American Journal of Cardiology, 2012
2 “A randomised controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplementation for the prevention of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections” Li-Ng et al, Epidemiol. Infect. 2009
3 “Pandamic influenza A (H1N1): mandatory vitamin D supplementation?” Goldstein et al. Med Hypotheses 2010
1 “Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa: Jensesn et al, Human Reproduction (2011)
2 “Vitamin D can Aid Fertility, by Rebecca Smith, The Telegraph, 11 November 2008.
3 “Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with adiposity in the offspring” Crozier et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2012.
1 “Erectile dysfunction and the cardiovascular patient: endothelial dysfunction is the common denominator: Solomon et al. Heart 2003.
2 “Treating vitamin D deficiency may improve depression among women” Allison Cerra, Drugstrore News
1 The First scientific study to ask this question was in 1974: Goldberg P. Multiple Sclerosis: vitamin D and calcium as environmental determinants of prevalence (a viewpoint). Part 1: sunlight, dietary factors and epidemiology. Intern J Environ Stud 1974
1 “Higher predicted Vitamin D Status Is Associated With Reduced Risk of Crohn’s Disease” Ananthakrishna et al, Gastroenterology, Volume 142
2 “Antibacterial effects of vitamin D,” Hewison, Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 7, 337-345 (June 2011)
1 “Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study,” Hypponen et al, Lancet