Vi­ta­min D is hav­ing a mo­ment, and with good rea­son. When it comes to the sun­shine vi­ta­min, you’ve heard it all be­fore. Or so you think

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS -

The lastest re­search on vi­ta­min D; why men need more sleep; mind­ful­ness, and more.

Vi­ta­min D is some­times called the “sun­shine vi­ta­min” be­cause it’s pro­duced in your skin in re­sponse to sun­light. It’s a fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­min in a fam­ily of com­pounds that in­cludes vitamins D1, D2, and D3. Vi­ta­min D has sev­eral im­por­tant func­tions, and per­haps the most vi­tal are reg­u­lat­ing the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium and phos­pho­rus, and fa­cil­i­tat­ing nor­mal im­mune sys­tem func­tion. Get­ting a suf­fi­cient amount of vi­ta­min D is im­por­tant for nor­mal growth and de­vel­op­ment of bones and teeth, as well as im­proved re­sis­tance against cer­tain dis­eases.

How­ever it has a few other ben­e­fits you may not be aware of.

Vi­ta­min D Boosts Ath­letic Per­for­mance

Ac­cord­ing to a re­view of pre­vi­ous stud­ies pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Or­thopaedic Sur­geons, vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ments may help in­crease mus­cle strength in ath­letes, re­duce in­jury, and im­prove ath­letic per­for­mance. In one study, ath­letes who re­ceived vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ments in­creased their up­per and lower body strength com­pared to those re­ceiv­ing a placebo. An­other study of vi­ta­min D-de­fi­cient ath­letes found that those re­ceiv­ing 5,000 IU per day in­creased their ver­ti­cal jump height com­pared to those who didn’t re­ceive the vi­ta­min. Among 1,000 Royal Ma­rine re­cruits in the UK, those with the low­est lev­els of vi­ta­min D

ex­pe­ri­enced a 60 per­cent higher in­ci­dence of stress frac­tures than those with the high­est lev­els.

“Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency com­monly af­fects many peo­ple around the world,” said lead study au­thor and or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon Ge­of­frey D. Abrams, MD, of Stan­ford Univer­sity. “With higher serum lev­els of vi­ta­min D play­ing a role in mus­cle strength, in­jury pre­ven­tion, and sports per­for­mance, it’s es­sen­tial for in­di­vid­u­als to take nec­es­sary steps to en­sure they’re get­ting an ad­e­quate amount of vi­ta­min D in­take.”

Vi­ta­min D May Lower Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Death Risk

Peo­ple who have car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease (CVD) can re­duce their risk of death by al­most a third sim­ply by main­tain­ing nor­mal vi­ta­min D lev­els. This is the find­ing of a new study re­cently pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal En­docrinol­ogy & Me­tab­o­lism.

Car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease is an um­brella term for con­di­tions that af­fect the heart and blood ves­sels, in­clud­ing heart dis­ease, heart at­tack, heart fail­ure, and stroke, and it is the num­ber one killer in the U.S. Heart dis­ease alone is re­spon­si­ble for around 610,000 deaths in the coun­try ev­ery year.

Pre­vi­ous re­search sug­gests that vi­ta­min D may play an im­por­tant role in car­dio­vas­cu­lar health. A study re­ported by Med­i­cal News To­day in 2016, for ex­am­ple, as­so­ci­ated low vi­ta­min D lev­els with greater risk of stroke, heart fail­ure, heart at­tack, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar death. A new study out of Nor­way fur­ther in­ves­ti­gated the role that vi­ta­min D lev­els play in the risk of death from CVD. Re­searchers an­a­lyzed blood sam­ples of 4,114 adults who had sus­pected angina pec­toris, a chest pain that re­sults from coro­nary heart dis­ease. The sub­jects were an av­er­age age of 62 and they were fol­lowed for 12 years. Blood sam­ples were mon­i­tored for lev­els of 25-hy­drox­yvi­ta­min D3, or 25(OH)D, which is the pri­mary cir­cu­lat­ing form of vi­ta­min D. Re­searchers found that par­tic­i­pants with the op­ti­mal con­cen­tra­tions were 30 per­cent less likely to die of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. “We dis­cov­ered,” says lead re­searcher Prof. Jutta Dierkes, of the De­part­ment of Clin­i­cal Medicine at the Univer­sity of Ber­gen, “that the right amount of vi­ta­min D re­duces the risk of death sub­stan­tially. How­ever, too much or too lit­tle in­creases the risk.”

Based on these re­sults, Dierkes rec­om­mends that all peo­ple with CVD have their vi­ta­min D lev­els mea­sured and mon­i­tored. If lev­els are below nor­mal, vi­ta­min D sup­ple­men­ta­tion might be re­quired. That said, the re­searchers note that the op­ti­mal amount of vi­ta­min D is not the same for ev­ery­one. “It de­pends where you live, and what kind of diet you have,” Prof. Dierkes adds.

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