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- vitamin d
Vitamin D is a group of steroid vitamins that are naturally produced by the body, and required to absorb calcium. It is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it (as vitamin D3) when sun exposure is adequate.
Deficiency of vitamin D is associated with risk factors for a number of medical problems, including: autoimmune diseases; heart and vascular disease; osteoporosis; obesity; diabetes; certain cancers; depression; infectious diseases; and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis, and general cognitive decline.
Vitamin D is found in cholecarciferol, ergocalciferol and calciferol - and found in egg yolk, fatty fish and enriched milk.
Recommended daily intake (Dietary Reference Intakes) amounts are based on the assumption that a person is not getting enough sun exposure to synthesize their own supply. They are typically very low, especially for people with melanin, which hinders the body's own synthesis. Toxicity does not occur until in excess of 50,000 IU are taken daily over a period of months.
You may also hear vitamin D referred to as "the sunshine vitamin".
Vitamin D is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (along with vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K). Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of lipids (fats). Because they are more likely to accumulate in the body, they are more likely to lead to hypervitaminosis than are water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin D found in: fish oils, eggs, plants, milk. Also created by exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke, as well as other cardiovascular-related diseases, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction, in addition to the bone disease (rickets), loss of calcium, and soft teeth and bones. Children who are not getting enough sunshine are increasingly at risk of health concerns such as asthma and early menstruation. As we age, deficiency is correlated with a host of other negative outcomes, including cancers, cognitive decline and dementia, macular degeneration, and more.
Excess results in: anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, excessive urination, excessive thirst, weakness, nervousness, an intense itching sensation and high blood pressure. These outcomes are unlikely to result from spending too much time in the sun, rather from taking too much vitamin D as a supplement (more than 50,000 IU/day over a span of months).
Excess of 50,000 IU a day - equal to 1250μg (micrograms)/day - over several months can result in impaired renal function.
Related studies, articles, and news items
- Low vitamin D levels linked to increased risk of bladder cancer
- Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of chronic headache
- Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections in older patients
- Obesity in adolescence may cause permanent bone loss
- Vitamin D status in newborns and risk of MS in later life
- Vitamin D supplements may benefit children with autism spectrum disorder
- Vitamin D supplements for pregnant women should be customised to the individual to ensure benefits are felt
- Vegans may lack essential nutrient intake, study reports
- New guideline aims to reduce fractures in seniors in long-term care facilities
- Vitamin D does not reduce colds in asthma patients
- Recurrent major depressive disorder and use of antidepressants associated with lower bone density
- Importance of a balanced diet for mental health
- Vitamin D supplements may benefit children with kidney disease
- More than one-third of Division I college athletes may have low vitamin D levels
- Neither vitamin D nor exercise affected fall rates among older women in Finland
- Vitamin D prevents diabetes and clogged arteries in mice
- Sunlight continues to damage skin in the dark
- Improving health before pregnancy could be key to the prevention of childhood obesity
- Finally: A missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer
- Older men less likely to receive osteoporosis screening and treatment following a bone fracture
- Low vitamin D levels increase mortality
- Task Force finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine vitamin D screening
- New dietary supplement beats calcium, vitamin D for bone strength
- Long term shift work linked to impaired brain power
- Breathe easier: Get your vitamin D
- Children who drink non-cow milk are twice as likely to have low vitamin D
- Vitamin D deficiency increases poor brain function after cardiac arrest by sevenfold
- High-dose vitamin D for ICU patients who are vitamin D deficient does not improve outcomes
- Modified vitamin D shows promise as treatment for pancreatic cancer
- Low vitamin D levels linked to increased risks after noncardiac surgery
- Vitamin D deficiency may reduce pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF
- Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may have too much for some older women
- Observation: Tanning beds associated with vitamin D toxicity?
- Remember parathyroid hormone as well as vitamin D to assess role in diabetes
- Vitamin D: Putting the sunshine vitamin in the spotlight
- Asthma sufferers may be prone to bone loss
- Vitamin D deficiency linked to aggressive prostate cancer
- Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients
- Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people
- Top 10 functional food trends for 2014
- Low vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms
- Low vitamin D linked to fatty liver disease in UK children
- Rabbits kept indoors could be vitamin D deficient
- Calcium supplementation does not increase coronary heart disease concludes new study
- Study finds no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression
- Vitamin D increases breast cancer patient survival
- Calcium and vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women
- Vitamin D deficiency may compromise immune function
- Nutritional supplement improves cognitive performance in older adults, study finds
- Study shows yogurt consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Taking vitamin D2 is a poor choice for athletes, research shows
- Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy may increase risk of severe preeclampsia
- Vitamin D supplements reduce pain in fibromyalgia sufferers
- Here comes the sun to lower your blood pressure
- Boosting vitamin D could slow progression, reduce severity of multiple sclerosis
- Higher vitamin D levels associated with better cognition and mood in Parkinsons patients
- Nordic study: Few persons with metabolic syndrome adhere to nutrition recommendations
- Higher vitamin D levels in pregnancy could help babies become stronger
- Review: Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology
- Importance of food as key provider of vitamins and nutrients
- Dietary supplement use among older persons
- Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes, depression
- New UK study suggests low vitamin D causes damage to brain
- Current practice may over-diagnose vitamin D deficiency
- Europeans do not consume enough vitamins, minerals
- Calcium and vitamin D improve bone density in patients taking antiepileptic drugs
- Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy associated with preterm birth in non-white mothers
- Low vitamin D levels associated with anemia risk in children
- Vitamin D does not contribute to kidney stones
- Mouse studies reveal promising vitamin D-based treatment for MS
- Vitamin D alone does little to protect bone health in postmenopausal women
- Red grapes, blueberries may enhance immune function
- More than one-third of populations worldwide may have low levels of vitamin D
- Who benefits from vitamin D?
- Calcium plus 400 IU vitamin D supplementation does not reduce joint symptoms in postmenopausal women
- Vitamin D supplementation does not appear to reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension
- Research shows Vitamin D levels drop after pediatric heart surgery, increasing sickness
- Monitoring nutrient intake can help vegetarian athletes stay competitive
- Vitamin D deficiency linked to accelerated aging of bones
- Vitamin D improves mood and blood pressure in women with diabetes
- Long term night shifts linked to doubling of breast cancer risk
- Calcium and vitamin D help hormones help bones
- Findings emphasize importance of vitamin D in pregnancy
- U-shaped curve revealed for association between fish consumption and atrial fibrillation
- Americans vitamin D levels are highest in August, lowest in February, study shows
- Vitamin D supplementation may delay precocious puberty in girls
- Timing of calcium and vitamin D supplementation may affect how bone adapts to exercise
- Genetic research clarifies link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency
- Sunshine could benefit health and prolong life, study suggests
- Preterm infants may need 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day
- Outdoor recess time can reduce the risk of nearsightedness in children
- Low vitamin D levels a risk factor for pneumonia
- Mushrooms provide as much vitamin D as supplements
- Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids
- Month of birth impacts immune system development
- Vitamin D may lower diabetes risk in obese children and adolescents
- Vitamin D benefits breathing in tuberculosis patients
- Vitamin D supplementation improves muscle efficiency
- Too much vitamin D during pregnancy can cause food allergies
- Modern life may cause sun exposure, skin pigmentation mismatch
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