September 3, 2015

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Vitamin D Deficiency

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

Multiple sclerosis: Evidence continues to accumulate supporting the role of vitamin D and the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). It begins with the vitamin D levels in pregnant women. Numerous studies have linked the occurrence of MS with birth month. There is a high prevalence of MS in high-latitude areas. The lack of sunlight exposure appears to be a significant predictor, and research is ongoing in this area.

Tuberculosis: Individuals with tuberculosis (TB) have been shown to have lower vitamin D levels than healthy people. Supplementation has shown to improve symptoms in these individuals. Further studies are needed to determine the cause and appropriate intervention.

Reducing the risk 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.

Decreasing inflammation: Many of the health benefits associated with vitamin D may come from its role in decreasing inflammation. Research has shown a decrease in levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, with increased levels of vitamin D to just below 21 ng/mL.

Reducing risk of allergies in children and adolescents: A nationwide study of over 6,000 individuals showed that allergic sensitization was more common in those with vitamin D levels under 15 ng/mL versus those with levels 30 ng/mL or more.

Sleep apnea: There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea brought on by inflammatory rhinitis and/or tonsillar hypertrophy. More research needs to be done to confirm this.

Decreasing dental cavities: A review of 24 controlled clinical trials encompassing 2,827 children found a 47% reduced risk of cavities with vitamin D supplementation.

Possibly helping with erectile dysfunction (ED): It is not clear if increasing your serum vitamin D levels can help with ED. Many men diagnosed with ED are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD) within a few years. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with CVD, so if you are deficient in vitamin D, some researchers believe that treating this could reduce your risk of ED. Continue Reading

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Reviewed on 2/26/2015