Vitamin D is Beneficial to Reduce BP, Diabetes, and Obesity

Vitamin D is Beneficial to Reduce BP, Diabetes, and Obesity

The term "vitamin D" refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight or the diet.Vitamin D plays an important role in the maintenance of organ systems.

prevention of rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis
possible benefit for hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, and tuberculosis
possible decreased risk for schizophrenia, breast cancer, and prostate cancer
possible prevention of Type 1 diabetes

A systematic review of all available randomized or quasi-randomized trials on the use of vitamin D or vitamin D analogues to reduce fractures found that vitamin D3 alone (without calcium supplementation) was not associated with any reduction in the incidence of hip fracture or other non-vertebral fractures. However, in combination with calcium supplements, vitamin D3 was associated with a reduced incidence of hip fractures among frail elderly people. In healthy younger participants, the effect on hip fractures is unknown.

Calcium/vitamin D supplementation neither increased nor decreased heart disease and stroke risk in generally healthy postmenopausal women over seven years of use, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.While calcification in blood vessels and heart valves increases a person's risk for coronary events, the relationship between dietary calcium and cardiovascular events is uncertain.

An estimated one-fourth of men and women past their 60th birthday suffers vitamin D deficiency. Such a shortfall can affect: bone health ,development and/or progression of diabetes, cancer, colds and tuberculosis.

Among other sources, vitamin D can be found in: the sun's ultraviolet rays ,fortified milk ,juice ,cereals ,fish, milk, egg yolks,vegetable oils, nuts,fruits, peas, beans,broccoli, spinach.Vegetarian should have a reliable source of vitamin D. Vegans who don’t get much sunlight may need a supplement.

Those low in vitamin D performed poorly on: walking speed, standing from a chair ,maintaining balance ,showing handgrip strength, a predictor of future disability.

It has been suggested that sunscreen use may cause vitamin D deficiency and increase the risk of cancer. An effective sunscreen unquestionably blocks the synthesis of vitamin D in the epidermis, and middle-aged and elderly persons who use sunscreen daily have significantly lower serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 than those who do not. Although very few healthy persons who use sunscreens have concentrations below the normal range, in some studies up to 40 percent of persons presenting with hip fracture had some evidence of osteomalacia, a consequence of vitamin D deficiency and therefore of inadequate exposure to the sun (and inadequate dietary intake).

Women over age 65 who took vitamin D had nearly one-third less risk of dying from heart disease as women who did not take the supplements, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum meeting today.

Vitamin D and calcium are part of the standard therapy for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.Low blood levels of certain forms of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk of heart attacks.

“In a laboratory study rats and mice that either can’t make enough vitamin D hormone or lack the vitamin D receptor . “These animals have abnormally large hearts and cardiac muscle cells, similar to what physicians see in people with heart failure. A lack of vitamin D hormone leads to defects in the heart’s extra-cellular matrix resulting in inefficient contractions.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System are finding this often ignored bone-building vitamin can play a significant role in the prevention of heart disease and the function of other critical body systems.

A new study shows an association between low vitamin D levels and risk factors for cardiovascular disease "in a nationally representative sample."

Dr. Keith Norris, at Drew University School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), conducted between 1988 and 1994.

They evaluated blood levels of vitamin D and the risk of heart-related disease in 7,186 men and 7,902 women.

Average vitamin D levels were lower in women, older individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, obese people and those with hypertension or diabetes, the researcher report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Compared to people with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest levels were more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity -- all risk factors for heart disease.

Norris said that this evidence of the link between heart disease and vitamin D "reinforces the emerging evidence that suggests higher levels of vitamin D may be helpful to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease."

In terms of taking a vitamin D supplement, "present dose recommendations range from 800 IU to 1,200 IU daily," he noted. However, he thinks 2000 IU per day is more likely to achieve adequate blood levels of vitamin D for prevention of cardiovascular disease. "There appears to be good safety at doses of 2000-3000 IU per day."

He pointed out that it has been known for a long time that vitamin D helps to make strong bones, but there is now "convincing evidence" that it has several beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

"The potential implications from a public health and healthcare cost perspective are tremendous, even if vitamin D only impacts 5 percent to10 percent of heart health," Norris concluded.


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