Research is plentiful on the benefits of vitamin D on numerous conditions and diseases. Recent studies highlight links between vitamin D and these five maladies.
1. HIV. Not only does vitamin D helps HIV positive patients respond better to treatment, recent studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency is also linked with a higher mortality rate. Further research into short term mortality in HIV positive patients is recommended. (Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2014)
2. Fibromyalgia. Research has suggested that vitamin D supplementation can aid in general pain relief, and recent trials in Austria focused on fibromyalgia sufferers report pronounced reduction in fatigue and morning fatigue. Lead researcher Dr. Florian Wepner recommends closely monitoring vitamin D levels in fibromyalgia patients and supplementing when appropriate, especially during the colder months. (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014)
3. Pregnancy. We are all aware that a well-rounded diet in pregnant mothers helps make healthy babies. We also know that vitamin D builds muscles. It’s not much of a surprise, then, that a new study in London shows that pregnant women with higher levels of vitamin D gave birth to babies with stronger grip strength, both at birth and at four years of age. (University of Southampton, 2014)
4. Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Researchers have been aware of a link between MS and vitamin D for quite a while. A study on animals at Johns Hopkins Medicine has found that vitamin D blocks damaging T-cells from getting into the central nervous system, thereby preventing flare-ups and possibly preventing MS. (Johns Hopkins Medicine 2013)
5. Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune diabetes typically diagnosed earlier in life; either in childhood or early adulthood. In efforts to prevent T1D, studies were done on vitamin D supplementation on both pregnant women and infants. While pregnant mothers who supplemented with vitamin D showed a slight (5 percent) reduction in their offspring developing T1D, those were not the most striking results from the study. Infants who were given vitamin D supplements showed a 29% decrease in developing T1D later in life. (Nutrients Magazine 2013)
Vitamin D is so important that our body makes it! Sunshine enables our body to produce vitamin D. If your body is not making adequate levels of vitamin D, supplementation may be advised. The best way to find out your own vitamin D levels is through a simple blood test. For more information on vitamin D, go to The Vitamin D Council.