now offer the BloodDrop. Vitamin D test, a convenient and accurate dry blood test methodology researched and developed for convenient, home collection of the patient sample without the inconvenience of venipuncture.
is a very versatile nutrient. Vitamin D’s role in more diverse health-related issues has become apparent in recent years, as it relates to conditions like
(suspected to be at the root of many diseases),
peripheral neuropathies, autism, heart activity,
, polycystic ovarian syndrome (
depression, skin rejuvenation, dementia-related conditions, bone fracture repair
, and many others
. Additionally, a Lancet article points out that the functions of vitamin D have been extensively reviewed, and that vitamin D has important effects on
brain development and function, cell proliferation, regulation of blood pressure and insulin secretion, and on the differentiation of immune cells and modulation of immune responses
. Another article naming the many facets of this nutrient was published in Endocrinology and called “Vitamin D receptor: new assignments for an already busy receptor”
. Don’t forget that vitamin D strengthens more than bones, too; it is vital to achieve
optimal muscle performance
. Dr. Michael Holick published “Vitamin D: the other steroid hormone for muscle function and strength” in the 2009 issue of Menopause, 16(6):1077-8, and touted some of the beneficial effects of vitamin D on the muscular system.
Vitamin D and other Specific Health concerns:
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with numerous immune conditions and diseases, and vitamin D supplementation is associated with beneficial effects in a multitude of conditions, from
. Some of the immune conditions correlated to vitamin D intake include, but are not limited to:
rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus (SLE), fibromyalgia, dermatological indications (i.e. psoriasis), diabetes type 1 and type 2
and many others
. Dr. Michael Holick also delves into some of the conditions vitamin D is useful for in his article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled “Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease”
Vitamin D and MS:
There has been substantial evidence to indicate that vitamin D is correlated to multiple sclerosis in a big way. Deficiency can be a factor for MS risk, and can also be therapeutic. The hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for MS was first proposed over 30 years ago, and gained credibility after the discovery of the modulating immune effects of vitamin D
. Vitamin D supplementation in healthy individuals has been proposed as a promising approach for MS prevention, and disease severity has also been associated with vitamin D levels
. Vitamin D has been known for quite some time to block the progression of MS in the animal model, and there is also limited evidence of a similar effect in humans
Key Points from Dr. Dan Murphy (
VP of the International Chiropractic Association
. He has lectured worldwide, and his popular, well-researched seminars include a wide range of topics, from Nutritional Immunology to Whiplash Trauma. He teaches at Life Chiropractic College West, and has coordinated a year-long certification program. He has received numerous awards, including Educator of the Year, Post-graduate Educator of the Year, and Chiropractor of the Year (by multiple organizations for multiple years). Dr. Murphy is an acclaimed writer published in many journals, and has over 100 articles to his credit.) &
Dr. Don Bellgrau (
awell-known and respected scientist and lecturer. He is a tenured Prof. of Immunology and Medicine at the U. of CO Denver, where he is a Program Leader in Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Cancer Center. A former staff scientist at the renowned Basel Institute for Immunology, Dr. Bellgrau reviews grants for the NIH; he has
conducted experiments with nutrients/vitamin D and immune cells
, and has co-founded two bio-tech companies, (one received an award for “Inventor of the Year”). Dr. Bellgrau has published in over 100 peer-reviewed articles, including the Journal of Neurooncology, Nature, Clinical Immunology, Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, and Cell Transplantation.)
An individual with minimal sun exposure (e.g. a nursing home resident) may require 1000 to 2000 IU/day just to achieve levels of 65-75 nmol/L
. More than 90 nmol/L is recommended for many health outcomes.
Vitamin D supplementation is safe at levels several-fold higher than 2000 IU/d for adults
“Low vitamin D status could be associated with higher mortality from life-threatening conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus that account for 60% to 70% of total mortality in high-income countries”
Vitamin D supplements are associated with decreases in total mortality rates; One study showed that 5.7 years of supplementation with between 400-833 IU of vitamin D/d resulted in a 7% decrease in all cause mortality over that period of time; the reduction was 8% for those who supplemented for at least 3 years
Some knowledgeable vitamin D scientists and physicians have recommended a higher upper limit of 10,000 IU/day.
Low vitamin D levels also increase the incidence of myocardial infarction, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and falls
Vitamin D should be used to “reduce incidence and mortality from cancer, and substantially
increase treatment success
A 2010 trial administered a high-dose regimen of vitamin D 50 000 IU daily for 10 days to achieve a correction of vitamin D deficiency to within the normal range, without incidence of toxicity. “The high-dose regimen may be an effective and cheap alternative for patients with vitamin D deficiency”
The International Journal of Cancer in May of 2010 published a meta-analysis of 35 studies that included vitamin D and colorectal cancer, and studied dose effects. A consistent inverse relationship between serum vitamin D levels and colorectal cancer was found. In other words, the higher the vitamin D levels, the better the outcome relating to colorectal cancer
A direct quote from Vieth, R. et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85(3): 649-650, March 2007,
“The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective”
“As scientists, the purpose of our work is to improvethe health of the public... we havecome to the conclusion that public health will benefit fromimproved vitamin D nutritional status. We know the intakes ofvitamin D needed to bring about desirable 25(OH) D concentrations,so why is the science not making a difference to public health?A major reason is that there is little public pressure on policymakers to support efforts to update recommendations about nutrition... when it comes to discussingthe intake of vitamin D needed to correct the situation; outdatedofficial recommendations for vitamin D are propagated by thepublic media. This probably occurs because of restrictive editorialpolicies driven by concern about possible litigation if mediawere to advise a "toxic" intake greater than the upper limit. The unfortunateresult is that there is minimal motivation for policy makersto implement the relatively simple steps that could correctthis nutrient deficiency.
Because of the convincing evidence for benefit and the strongevidence of safety, we urge those who have the ability to supportpublic health—the media, vitamin manufacturers, and policymakers—to undertake new initiatives that will have a realisticchance of making a difference in terms of vitamin D nutrition.We call for international agencies such as the Food and NutritionBoard and the European Commission's Health and Consumer ProtectionDirectorate-General to reassess as a matter of high prioritytheir dietary recommendations for vitamin D, because the formalnationwide advice from health agencies needs to be changed”.
A 2010 reference states that “Since the 1997 Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values for vitamin D and calcium were established new data have become available on their relationship, both individually and combined, to a wide range of health outcomes. The Institute of Medicine/Food and Nutrition Board has constituted a DRI committee to undertake a review of the evidence and potential revision of the current DRI values for these nutrients”