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6 Health Conditions Vitamin D Might Help

6 Health Conditions Which Vitamin D Might Help

Taken from “6 Health Conditions in Which Vitamin D Plays an Important Role”, By Dr. Mercola

Despite its name, vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone, which you get primarily from either sun exposure or supplementation, along with some foods. Many of its health benefits are due to its ability to influence genetic expression.

Moreover, researchers have discovered that vitamin D is involved in the biochemical cellular machinery of ALL cells and tissues in your body. Hence, when you don’t have enough, your entire body struggles to function optimally.

As a general rule, it would be wise to improve your vitamin D status regardless of what ails you, but if you suffer from any of the following conditions, optimizing your vitamin D is clearly indicated.

Remember that while sunlight is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D, winter and work prevent more than 90 percent of those reading this article from achieving ideal levels without supplementation. The only one to know you have therapeutic levels of vitamin D is to measure it.

Vitamin D is crucial for good health and may be one of the simplest solutions to a wide range of health problems, from diseases of the eyes to the bowels, and conditions rooted in chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction in particular.

Vitamin D deficiency is common around the world, even in sun-drenched areas, yet many people, including physicians, are unaware they may be lacking this important nutrient.

1 – Dry Eye Syndromes and Macular

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases,2,3“patients with vitamin D deficiency should be evaluated for dry eye syndromes.” You could easily turn that around and say that anyone with dry eye syndrome would be advised to optimize their vitamin D.

What these researchers found was that premenopausal women who were deficient in vitamin D had a greater risk of dry eye and impaired tear function. According to the authors:

“Dry eye and impaired tear function in patients with vitamin D deficiency may indicate a protective role of vitamin D in the development of dry eye, probably by enhancing tear film parameters and reducing ocular surface inflammation.”

Vitamin D deficiency may also raise your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) if you are genetically predisposed to it.

2 – Multiple Sclerosis

At least a dozen studies have noted a strong link between multiple sclerosis (MS) and vitamin D deficiencies. A number of them have shown that your risk of MS increases the farther away you live from the equator, suggesting a lack of sun exposure amplifies your risk.

Moreover, this heightened risk is magnified if you have a lack of sun exposure before the age of 15.

The typical prescription for MS focuses on highly toxic immune suppressing medications like prednisone and interferon. However, research over the past few years suggests MS may be improved using vitamin D.

Studies also indicate that vitamin D can serve in a protective capacity, and clearly, it’s preferable to prevent it than trying to treat it once it develops.

3 – May Be ‘Vital’ for Prevention of Bowel Diseases

Researchers in New Zealand recently highlighted the importance of vitamin D in the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases, including cancer, according to Professor Lynn Ferguson.

“Gastrointestinal diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease are becoming increasingly common worldwide, including among children and adolescents. This is a substantial burden on health care and a changing vitamin D intake through reduced exposure to sunlight not compensated through diet may play a key role in susceptibility to such disorders.”

Contrary to popular belief, which states that sun exposure, in general, promotes skin cancer, sensible sun exposure may actually help prevent not only skin cancer but many internal cancers as well. However, you never want to stay out long enough to get burned.

4 – Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases

Additional evidence linking vitamin D deficiency and chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (CIRD) has also emerged. CIRD includes but is not restricted to rheumatoid arthritis (RA); it refers to over 100 different conditions rooted in chronic inflammation affecting your joints. In general, CIRD is thought to be linked to autoimmune dysfunction.

A recent study12 involving more than 2,200 patients diagnosed with various types of arthritis found that just over 40 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis were deficient in vitamin D, with a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 ng/ml or less. Nearly 40 percent of those with ankylosing spondylitis and almost 41 percent of those with psoriatic arthritis were also vitamin D deficient. In contrast, less than 27 percent of the controls had vitamin D deficiency.

5 – Lupus

According to researchers in Cairo,14 most patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have some level of vitamin D deficiency (defined as a level of 10 ng/ml or less) or insufficiency (a level between 10 and 30 ng/ml). Those with lower levels also tend to have greater difficulty controlling their disease.

On average, patients with SLE had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D than the healthy participants — an average of 17.6 ng/ml compared to 79 ng/ml. More than 73 percent of lupus patients had insufficient vitamin D levels, and over 23 percent were deficient.


Vitamin D is well-known for its ability to combat infections and strengthen immune function, and researchers now suggest vitamin D supplements may be an easy and affordable way to fight even more serious infections like HIV.15,16

A team composed of researchers from the U.S., U.K., and South Africa enlisted 100 Cape Town residents between the ages of 18 and 24 to assess the impact of sun exposure, dietary vitamin D, genetics and skin pigmentation on vitamin D levels in the blood. The study17also looked for signs of improved resistance to HIV.

After accounting for diet, genes and skin color, sun exposure was found to be the strongest determining factor for vitamin D blood levels. During winter months, vitamin D deficiency was common among all participants regardless of skin tone. In terms of the effect vitamin D had on HIV, it was found to reduce HIV replication and increase white blood cell counts, suggesting it might help slow disease progression. As reported by SciDev.net:18

Read the full article http://wisemindhealthybody.com/dr-mercola/health-conditions-vitamin-d-important-role/

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