Vitamin D – More than just a Vitamin!

20 June 2010

Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin. It plays a role in:

  • Calcium Metabolism
  • Precursor to hormones that regulate more than 1000 human genes
  • Stimulation of Insulin Production
  • Modulation effect of B and T lymphocytes
  • Heart muscle contractibility
  • Helps in the promotion of Thyroid-stimulating hormone secretion
  • Improves muscle strength

During winter up to 70% of the population may suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Those at the greatest risk of deficiency include:

  • The elderly
  • Dark-skinned individuals
  • Healthy people who spend most of the time indoors
  • Those with food allergies and sensitivities due to decreased gut absorption
  • People with liver and kidney disease
  • Certain medications
  • People who are overweight

Vitamin D deficiency has also been implicated in the following diseases:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus erythematosus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Some forms of cancer

More and more research is emerging that point to the importance of vitamin D and the role it plays in the body. In practice Vitamin D deficiency is something that we are more routinely checking clients for and treating. I think that if you spend most of your time indoors during winter, like most of the Melbourne population, then you need to have your Vitamin D levels checked. Recommended healthy blood levels for Vitamin D is between 100 – 175nmol/L

(Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice. Alt Med Rev 2008;13(1):6-20).

So if you are catching cold after cold, feeling run down, tired, fatigued and have sore muscles then vitamin D deficiency is something that you should consider.