Vitamin D has been a negelcted Vitamin for several centuries. People are so mystified by Vitamin E and Vitamin C that almost always every patient that I encounter is either on E or C as vitamin supplements. But recent data have shown that one Vitamin that stand out among the rest in terms of preventing illnesses is Vitamin D.
A new study that looked at how important Viatmin D in terms of it causing muscle pain was recently published. It looked at how deficiency of Vitamin D may play a big role in causing this chronic complaints among the elderly population. This study published in the American Journal of Geriatrics in May 2008 involved Nine hundred fifty-eight persons (aged ≥65) selected from city registries of Greve and Bagno a Ripoli.
Lower concentrations of 25(OH)D are associated with significant back pain in older women but not men. Because vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain are fairly prevalent in older adults, these findings suggest it may be worthwhile to query older adults about their pain and screen older women with significant back pain for vitamin D deficiency.
The main function of Vitamin D is in helping maintain a normal calcium level in the blood which is important for bone strength. It aids in the absorption of calcium from the gut and can provide protection from osteoporosis as well as other chronic illnesses like hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and others.
Some health benefits of Vitamin D although will need more studies to fully prove its worth include for:
- Diabetes where Vitamin D has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity;
- Colon cancer where a Metaanalysis showed VitaminD supplementation decreased the risk
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Prostate cancer where a reduction in risk was noted with higher Vitamin D Intake among others….
So how can we get enough Vitamin D?
Exposure to the morning sun for 10 to 15 minutes should provide you enough Vtamin D. Other food sources include fish like salmon and tuna , egg yolk, cheese, fortified milk including yogurt, and cod liver oil. It is best to check your Vitamin D level to determine if you are deficient or not. There are many supplements of Vitamin D available in the market and it is best to discuss which is best for you with your doctor.