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Vitamin D

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Health Benefits of Vitamin D

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1) Vitamin D is Crucial to Bone Health

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Vitamin D maintains calcium and phosphorus balance in the body (RR2).

It promotes calcium and phosphorus absorption from the gut, calcium reabsorption in the kidney, and calcium mobilization in bone (R).

It suppresses parathyroid hormone and reduces bone degradation thusindirectly increasing bone mass (RR2).

Vitamin D is needed for bone growth and formation by bone cells.

It regulates growth and function of human bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) (RR2).

Furthermore, higher doses of this vitamin stimulate cells that degrade bone (osteoclast) due to its narrow therapeutic range (RR2).

2) Vitamin D Prevents Rickets and Osteomalacia

Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in infants, young children, and adolescents and osteomalacia in adults (RR2).

Rickets is characterized by a delay in the mineralization of growth cartilage.

Bones soften over time and become deformed, leading to growth retardation, enlargement of the epiphyses of the long bones, and leg deformities (RR2).

Maternal vitamin deficiency can affect skeletal development of fetuses.

In a study of 424 pregnant women, mothers with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have fetuses with femoral bones that had rachitic features (R).

Osteomalacia is an absence or delay in the mineralization of newly formed bone collagen (RR2).

Adults with osteomalacia may experience global bone discomfort, and muscle aches and weakness (R).

Osteomalacia and rickets attributable to vitamin deficiency are preventable with adequate nutritional intake of this vitamin.

Varying doses and treatment regimes have been described with the aim is to achieve a blood level between 20 and 50 ng/mL (R).

3) Vitamin D Prevents Osteoporosis and Fractures

Vitamin D deficiency. symptoms and diseases caused by insufficient vitamin D. Symptoms & Signs. Human silhouette with highlighted internal organs

Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower bone mineral density, mineralization defects, and an increased risk of bone loss or fracture in both men and women (RR2R3R4).

This vitamin should be considered for the therapy of osteoporosis, alone or in a combination with other therapeutic bone agents (RR2).

Studies show that in adults aged 50 years or older, vitamin D supplementation in combination with calcium has beneficial effects on bone mineral density, osteoporotic fractures and falls without evidence of harm (RR2R3).

In elderly women that were given 1200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 daily for 3 years, the risk of hip fracture was reduced by 43%.

The risk of fracture was reduced by 32% (R).

Populations that shield themselves from the sun or who have dark skin, African American and Hispanic men, may be at elevated risk of  vitamin deficiency and fractures (RR2).

However, annual administration of high doses of vitamin D (500 000 IU) resulted in an increased risk of falls and fractures in older community-dwelling women (R).

4) Vitamin D Can Improve Physical Performance

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