Vitamin D is a Key Player in Your Overall Health

Chemical structure of cholecalciferol, aka vit...
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sunlight, sun, vitamin DVitamin D, once linked to only bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis, is now recognized as a major player in overall human health.In a paper published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Anthony Norman, an international expert on vitamin D, identifies vitamin D’s potential for contributions to good health in the adaptive and innate immune systems, the secretion and regulation of insulin by the pancreas, the heart and blood pressure regulation, muscle strength and brain activity.

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Access to adequate amounts of vitamin D is also believed to be beneficial towards reducing the risk of cancer.

Norman also lists 36 organ tissues in the body whose cells respond biologically to vitamin D, including bone marrow, breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and uterine tissues.

According to Norman, deficiency of vitamin D can impact all 36 organs. Already, vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle strength decrease, high risk for falls, and increased risk for colorectal, prostate and breast and other major cancers.

An unrelated study also suggests that low vitamin D is associated with Parkinson’s disease. The majority (55 percent) of Parkinson’s disease patients in the study had insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its recommendation for a daily dose of vitamin D in children, in the hopes of preventing rickets and promoting other health benefits.

The new guidelines now call for children to receive 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, beginning in the first few days of life.

“ … Evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits,” said Dr. Frank Greer of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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