Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D Deficiency: Common And Problematic Yet Preventable

Date:
July 19, 2007
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
An expert on vitamin D explains the role vitamin D plays in a wide variety of chronic health conditions, as well as suggesting strategies for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Humans attain vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, diet and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is common in children and adults. In utero and childhood, vitamin D deficiency may cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and increase risk of hip fractures later in life. In adults, vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

In a review article to appear in the July 19th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Michael Holick, an internationally recognized expert in vitamin D, provides an overview of his pioneering work that expounds on the important role vitamin D plays in a wide variety of chronic health conditions, as well as suggesting strategies for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

Humans attain vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, diet and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is common in children and adults. In utero and childhood, vitamin D deficiency may cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and increase risk of hip fractures later in life. In adults, vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

According to Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, it has been estimated that 1 billion people world-wide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Without vitamin D only about 10-15 percent of dietary calcium and about 60 percent of phosphorus is absorbed by the body. This is directly related to bone mineral density which is responsible for osteoporosis and fractures, as well as muscle strength and falls in adults. In utero and childhood, calcium and vitamin D deficiency prevents the maximum deposition of calcium in the skeleton.

Studies have shown people living at higher latitudes (where the angle of the sun's rays are unable to sufficiently produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in the skin) are more likely to develop and die of Hodgkin's lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. According to Holick, both prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies have also shown an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Holick believes the current recommended Adequate Intakes for vitamin D need to be increased to 800 -- 1000 IU vitaminD3/d. "However, one can not obtain these amounts from most dietary sources unless one is eating oily fish frequently," says Holick. "Thus, sensible sun exposure (or UVB irradiation) and/or supplements are required to satisfy the body's vitamin D requirement," he adds.

Lastly Holick adds, "The goal of this paper is to make physicians aware of the medical problems associated with vitamin D deficiency. Physicians will then be able to impart this knowledge to their patients so they too will know how to recognize, treat and most importantly, maintain adequate levels of this important vitamin."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Vitamin D Deficiency: Common And Problematic Yet Preventable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070719011417.htm>.
Boston University. (2007, July 19). Vitamin D Deficiency: Common And Problematic Yet Preventable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070719011417.htm
Boston University. "Vitamin D Deficiency: Common And Problematic Yet Preventable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070719011417.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins