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

  • Cancer
    • 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.
  • Heart disease
    • 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.

1/17/11 20:34 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.