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VITAMIN D – Not Just For Bones

VITAMIN D – Not Just For Bones

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Health & Vitality Ltd

The bone building benefits of vitamin D have been known for decades. However there’s a host of other reasons for a daily dose of this vitamin. Studies show that it could help to prevent life threatening conditions, ranging from heart and lung disease to diabetes and cancer.

Vitamin D can protect against cancer. The German Cancer Research Centre found that higher levels of vitamin D can cut the risk of colon – rectal cancer by up to 60 percent.

Similar risk reductions have also been seen for breast and prostate cancers. Also, one review found that not getting enough vitamin D could be responsible for several thousands of premature deaths from cancer each year.

Vitamin D’s anti cancer activity is thought to be due to its role as a ‘nuclear transcription factor’ that regulates cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis (cell death) and other cellular mechanisms necessary for the development of cancer.

High doses of vitamin D can reduce levels of prostate specific antigen by half in 90 percent prostate cancer patients. The vitamin can slow  progression of breast cancer as well.

Although more research is needed, vitamin D may be a useful weapon against this deadly disease.

Vitamin D also brings benefits to the heart. Looking at vitamin D levels in 1739 older adults in relation to blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors; those with low levels of the vitamin had a 62 percent greater risk of a cardiovascular event compared with those who had higher levels.

Also, low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher incidence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), or narrowing of the arteries. On looking at nearly 5000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001 to 2004, those with the lowest vitamin D levels were 80 percent more likely to have PAD than those with the highest levels.

One of the various theories as to how vitamin D exerts its heart protective effects is that it inhibits inflammation, known to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis (fatty buildup in arteries). Vitamin D also appears to regulate the rennin-angiotensin system, which plays an important role in hypertension and cardiovascular health.

It’s known that vitamin D plays a key role in glucose homeostasis, and in insulin release and response, and is linked with the development of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. In a Finnish study of more than 12,000 babies followed for over 30 years, the children who regularly took vitamin D supplements had a lower rate of type 1 diabetes than those who did not, whilst those suspected of having rickets – another condition linked to vitamin D deficiency – had a threefold risk of diabetes.

Additional research from Finland reported that men with the highest levels of vitamin D had a 70 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

As more and more research is being done, scientists are discovering that vitamin D may help to protect against a variety of other conditions, such as dementia, depression, asthma, multiple sclerosis and bacterial and viral infections. Considering the dangerous drugs commonly used to treat these conditions, we should all be making sure that we’re getting enough of this essential vitamin.

For more information to help you improve your health and nutrition please click on the link below or Visit: Natural Health Resources

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