Vitamin D Deficiency

What does vitamin D do for your health? What are symptoms and signs of vitamin D deficiency?

By the turn of the 20th century, most of the children living in New York, Boston, and Leyden in the Netherlands were afflicted with rickets, a bone-deforming disease. The first observation of this disease was in the mid-1600s by Whistler and Glissen, who reported that children living in industrialized cities in Great Britain had short stature and deformities of the skeleton, especially of the lower legs. It wasn't until 1889 that the discovery that "sunbathing" was important for preventing rickets came about.

The need for vitamin D goes way beyond preventing and treating rickets. Various researchers have claimed that vitamin D benefits are associated with the following:

  • Prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia
  • Lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension
  • Lowering incidence and severity of cardiovascular disorders
  • Decreasing the incidence of type 2 diabetes: Research has shown that those with blood vitamin D levels over 25 ng/mL had a 43% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those with levels under 14 ng/mL.
Reviewed on 7/14/2014