Dr. Christine Gonzalez from Los Angeles, California, has written a thorough review of vitamin D.
Let’s focus on the actions of vitamin D thought to contribute to disease prevention.
Vitamin D effects
Decreases spread of cells (proliferation) and increases cell differentiation
Stops the growth of new blood vessels
Significant anti-inflammatory effects
Studies suggest a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cancer, with the strongest evidence for colorectal cancer.
Evidence that the protective effect of vitamin D on the heart could be via the renin-angiotensin hormone system, through the suppression of inflammation, or directly on the cells of the heart and blood-vessel walls.
Fractures and falls
Vitamin D helps body absorb calcium.
Vitamin D receptors are located on the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are the first to respond in a fall.
It’s theorized that vitamin D may increase muscle strength, thereby preventing falls.
Autoimmune diseases and influenza
Vitamin D has a role in regulating the immune system and a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
It’s theorized that vitamin D deficiency could contribute to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.
The bottom line?
In the past few years, study after study has supported the importance of vitamin D in preventing and managing medical conditions, and the risks associated with inadequate blood levels.
Dr. Gonzalez concludes, “As the number of people with vitamin D deficiency continues to increase, the importance of this hormone in overall health and the prevention of chronic diseases is at the forefront of research.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.