- Vitamin D deficiency has been show to help prevent and aid the treatment of breast cancer, colon cancer,prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies.
- Vitamin D assists with differentiation of cells, as well as modulating the immune system and facilitating the maturation of white blood cells in the thymus.
- Vitamin D is produced naturally in the body in a reaction catalyzed by the sun. But because it is now unsafe to be in the sun without wearing sunscreen lotion, which then results in less exposure to UV light, vitamin D must be supplemented.
- Vitamin D deficiency also results in soft bones in children and fragile bones in adults (osteomalacia/osteoporosis).
Why Vitamin D?
Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies. These studies show that people with higher levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of disease. However it is now estimated that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Because dark skin absorbs less sunlight when compared to light-skinned people, vitamin D deficiency is even higher in dark-skinned Latinos, African-Americans and others.
The Vitamin D Council, a scientific group promoting vitamin D deficiency awareness, suggests that vitamin D treatment might be helpful when combined with other approaches to prevent and treat many other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, upper respiratory infections, and osteoporosis.
The strongest proven benefit of vitamin D is its role in helping calcium build strong bones. Along with calcium (1,200 mg daily), regular exercise and a healthy diet, Vitamin D is essential in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In addition, vitamin D also helps regulate the immune and neuromuscular systems and plays a major role in the life cycle of human cells.
Vitamin D is so important that our bodies make it by itself after skin exposure to sufficient sunlight. But this is a problem for people in northern climates. In the U.S., for example, only people who live south of Los Angeles up to Columbia, S.C., get enough sunlight for vitamin D production throughout the year. But because of the effects of pollution and other ecological damages to the environment, the ability of the atmosphere to filter out ultraviolet radiation, particularly through the ozone layer, has been severely compromised. As such it is now recommended that we all wear sunscreen at most times of the day when exposed to the sun which leads to even higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency no matter where we live.