Researchers have been investing a lot of time and resources lately, studying how vitamin D affects health. The results have shown that 41.6 percent of the population is deficient in vitamin D and this fat-soluble vitamin is strongly correlated to many areas of health. In response to the growing population of people deficient in vitamin D, the Institute of Medicine increased the Recommend Dietary Allowances for vitamin D to 600 IU daily for individuals ages 1-71 and 800 IU for those who are older than 71. However, many nutritional experts feel this number is to low.
Vitamin D Basics
Did you know that your body can produce some vitamin D while under ultra violet light, like that from the sun? Unfortunately, sunscreens and more time spent indoors on computers and in front of the television has lead to wide-spread vitamin D deficiencies. In this case, supplementing with vitamin D is essential to optimal health.
Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in the relationship between vitamin D and neurological function, specifically in regards to mood and cognition. One study looked at adults who were 65 and older. The subject’s vitamin D levels were assessed and observed over a 6 year period. The results showed those with vitamin D deficiency had a 60% increase in their risk of cognitive decline in comparison to those with sufficient vitamin D levels. A similar study showed that people older than 65 years with vitamin D deficiency were at a four-fold increased risk of cognitive impairment compared to subjects who were sufficient in vitamin D.
Other research has shown decreased mood can be a result of being deficient in vitamin D. A study found that subjects who had the lowest levels of vitamin D serum were 70 percent more likely to have a lowered mood. Research continues to reveal correlations between vitamin D and the health of the brain and nervous system.
Having stable blood sugar is crucial to many things especially energy stability throughout the day. Studies are showing low levels of vitamin D relate to unbalanced blood sugar metabolism. Individuals with higher levels of vitamin D serum have shown a 40 percent increase supporting optimal blood sugar balancing.
Allergies and unbalanced autoimmune activity indicate a need for vitamin D support. Individuals with depressed vitamin D levels showed sensitivities to more stressors than individuals with appropriate vitamin D serum levels. It has also been noted that peanut, ragweed, and oak sensitivities are most strongly linked to vitamin D deficiencies.
Respiratory health has also been connected to vitamin D. Children with breathing concerns were studied and only 11 percent of them had sufficient levels of vitamin D. A similar study showed children with poor respiratory health could breath better when they had adequate levels of vitamin D.
Cardiovascular health has also shown to improve with optimal vitamin D. This in turn leads to normal blood pressure, lipid profiles, arterial function, heart function and brain health. Studies have shown that as vitamin D levels decrease, blood pressure can be impacted proportionately.
As you can see, vitamin D greatly impacts many aspects of health and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is shocking. Most people should consider being tested for vitamin D serum levels and implement an appropriate supplement regimen. The next time you come to our office for an immune boosting adjustment, be sure to pick up a bottle of vitamin D!