Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” is an essential vitamin that plays many important roles in the proper functioning of the body. Though classified as a vitamin, vitamin D is actually a key regulatory hormone for calcium and bone metabolism. vitamin D has many other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function.
Bone & Teeth - Adequate vitamin D intake is important for ensuring normal calcium absorption and maintaining proper calcium plasma levels. Thus, vitamin D has a critical role in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth.6 Studies have shown that supplementation with high doses of vitamin D maximizes bone health in adults and may decrease the risk of fractures in the elderly.6
Inflammation – Vitamin D has been found to reduce Interleukin-6 (IL-6) an inflammatory cytokine. High levels of IL-6 have been found to be linked to several types of cancer and individuals with excess weight.7,8
Stroke Recovery – Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to stroke. Studies show that those with optimal vitamin D levels decrease their stroke risk and reduce the odds of permanent disability in the event of a stroke.9 A recent study showed that in those individuals recovering from stroke for each 25 nmol/L decrement in vitamin D, the odds of a poor 90-day post-stroke function outcome doubled.9 Another recent study found that those individuals with a minimally adequate vitamin D level of 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL) or above showed a 90% improvement in functional outcomes vs those who were severely deficient (< 25 nmol/L or 10 ng/mL).10
Diabetes - Vitamin D helps to support the optimal health of beta cells that are the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.11-13 Insufficient insulin leads to high circulating glucose blood levels or insulin-dependent diabetes that contribute to a long list of deadly disorders that include heart disease,14Alzheimer’s,15 and cancer.16
Mood – Several studies have shown that women who have higher levels of vitamin D while pregnant have a lower incidence of children who develop different psychiatric disorders and ADHD.17,18
Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease and Inflammation – Higher blood levels of vitamin D have been found to be inversely related to cancer, vascular disease and chronic inflammation.19-28
Immunity - Scientists have identified reduced vitamin D levels in winter months as a prime contributor to higher levels of colds, flu, and respiratory infections.29,30
MS - Lower vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk for the autoimmune disease MS, and more than 90% of people with MS have deficient vitamin D levels.31
Longevity – Compelling research has demonstrated that vitamin D blood levels in the range of 125 to 200 nmol/L or 50-80 ng/mL are associated with increased longevity and a lower risk of common diseases.1-32 Some of the most impressive research discovered on vitamin Dhas been on ICU (intensive care unit) patients. The New England Journal of Medicine first reported in 2009 a striking 45% mortality (death) rate in vitamin D-deficient ICU patients compared to only a 16% mortality rate insufficient vitamin D patients. This study showed that vitamin D deficiency results in almost 3-times more patients dying in the ICU.32
Experts believe that in order to prevent many of the age-related diseases, people should maintain a vitamin D blood level between 125 to 150 nmol/L (potentially up to 200 nmol/L ) or 50-80 ng/mL.33-35
Reinhold Vieth, Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety1,2, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, No. 5, 842-856, May 1999, (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/69/5/842)
Robert P Heaney, Lessons for nutritional science from vitamin D1,2, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, No. 5, 825-826, May 1999. (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/69/5/825)
Clara Felix, The Felix Letter, Nos. 105 & 106, 1999, Catching the Good Rays
Krispin Sullivan, C.N., personal communication, June 2000 (see http://www.krispin.com)
Bill Sardi, Vitamin D Is For Cancer Defense, Nutrition Science News, March 2000, (http://exchange.healthwell.com/nutritionsciencenews/nsn_Backs/Mar_00/vitamind.cfm)
Laird E, et al, Vitamin D and Bone Health; Potential Mechanisms, Nutrients 2010 Jul; 2(7):693-724
Guo Y, Xu F, Lu T, et al. Interleukin-6 signaling pathway in targeted therapy for cancer. Cancer Treat Rev. 2012;38(7):904-10.
Eder K, Baffy N, Falus A, et al. The major inflammatory mediator interleukin-6 and obesity. Inflamm Res. 2009;58(11):727-36.
Turetsky A, Goddeau RP, Jr., Henninger N. Low serum vitamin D is independently associated with larger lesion volumes afterischemic stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015;24(7):1555-63.
Park KY, Chung PW, Kim YB, et al. Serum vitamin D status as a predictor of prognosis in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015;40(1-2):73-80.
Talaei A, Mohamadi M, Adgi Z. The effect of vitamin D on insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2013;5(1):8.
Oh YS, Jun HS. Role of bioactive food components in diabetes prevention: effects on Beta-cell function and preservation. Nutr Metab Insights. 2014;7:51-9.
Yang Z, Liu F, Qu H, et al. 1, 25(OH)2D3 protects beta cell against high glucose-induced apoptosis through mTOR suppressing. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015;414:111-9.
Hartog JW, Voors AA, Schalkwijk CG, et al. Clinical and prognostic value of advanced glycation end-products in chronic heart failure. Eur Heart J. 2007;28(23):2879-85.
Xu W, Qiu C, Winblad B, et al. The effect of borderline diabetes on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes. 2007;56(1):211-6.
Noto H, Osame K, Sasazuki T, et al. Substantially increased risk of cancer in patients with diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic evidence in Japan. J Diabetes Complications. 2010;24(5):345-53.
McGrath J. Does ‘imprinting’ with low prenatal vitamin D contribute to the risk of various adult disorders? Med Hypotheses. 2001;56(3):367-71.
Morales E, Julvez J, Torrent M, et al. Vitamin D in pregnancy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-like symptoms in childhood. Epidemiology. 2015;26(4):458-65.
Wu K, Feskanich D, Fuchs CS, et al. A nested case control study of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007;99(14):1120-9.
Edlich R, Mason SS, Chase ME, et al. Scientific documentation of the relationship of vitamin D deficiency and the development of cancer. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2009;28(2):133-41.
Garland CF, Gorham ED, Mohr SB, et al. Vitamin D for cancer prevention: global perspective. Ann Epidemiol. 2009;19(7):468-83.
Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, et al. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-80.
Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1340-9.
Szabo B, Merkely B, Takacs I. The role of vitamin D in the development of cardiac failure. Orv Hetil. 2009;150(30):1397-402.
Gouni-Berthold I, Krone W, Berthold HK. Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2009;7(3):414-22.
Suzuki Y, Ichiyama T, Ohsaki A, et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) in human coronary arterial endothelial cells: Implication for the treatment of Kawasaki disease. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009;113(1-2):134-8.
Dietrich T, Nunn M, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Association between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and gingival inflammation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(3):575-80.
Xia JB, Wang CZ, Ma JX, et al. Immunoregulatory role of 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)-treated dendritic cells in allergic airway inflammation. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2009;89(8):514-8.
Camargo CA Jr, Ganmaa D, Frazier AL, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin d supplementation and risk of acute respiratory infection in mongolia. Pediatrics. 2012 Sep;130(3):e561-7.
Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60.
Mokry LE, Ross S, Ahmad OS, et al. Vitamin D and risk of multiple sclerosis: a mendelian randomization study. PLoS Med. 2015;12(8):e1001866.
Lee P, Eisman JA, Center JR. Vitamin D deficiency in critically ill patients. New Engl J Med. 2009;360(18):1912-4.
Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels for multiple health outcomes. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008; 624:55-71
Available at: https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/1/startling-findings-about-vitamin-d-levels-in-life-extension-members/page-01. Accessed March 25, 2020
https://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm, Accessed March 25,2020
Boulard JC, Hanslik T, Alterescu R, Baglin A. [Symptomatic hypercalcemia after vitamin D-thiazide diuretics combination. Two cases in elderly women]. Presse Med. 1994 Jan 22;23(2):96.