Recent scientific studies are showing that Vitamin D might have a much larger and more significant role to play in our bodies that previously thought. Many of the organs and other body tissues have Vitamin D receptors, suggesting that this key Vitamin is essential for the proper functioning of our biological system.
What do we know about Vitamin D?
We know that it is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be produced by the body when exposed to sunlight. You’d think that in sunny countries like South Africa, we get our daily dose of Vitamin D, but results show otherwise. Modern 8-5 lifestyles keep us enclosed in cars or buildings during the sunniest of hours, fear of UV rays has us slapping on the sunblock and good sensibility makes us cover up our skin when we are in the sun. This all leads to a systematic decrease of Vitamin D in our bodies and a host of health risks go hand in hand with this.
We know that Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus absorption in our bodies – both essential for keeping bones strong. In a study done with over 40,000 elderly people, researchers found that high doses of Vitamin D (at least 800IU per day) lead to a 20% decrease in hip and non-spine fractures. Daily intakes of less than 400IU had no significant effect.
With recent studies, more evidence is being unveiled that Vitamin D deficiency might also play a role in the prevalence of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes. In a study by Munger et al, it was found that white men and women with high levels of Vitamin D had a 62% lower chance of developing MS.
A different study done with 10,000 Finnish children showed that children who received regular Vitamin D supplementation from infancy had a 90% lower chance of developing type 1 diabetes later in life.
There is still a debate about how much Vitamin D we should be taking. Vitamin D is not really prevalent in food sources, with the most common sources being fortified cereals and dairy products. Fatty fish such as salmon does have good levels of Vitamin D, but most experts recommend supplementation in dosages of around 1000IU per day (although some sources site 4000IU as a good dose).
VITOLOGY VITAMINS have a 500IU per capsule Vitamin D3 available here.
Vitamin D3 (“cholecalciferol”) is the form of the vitamin which is produced in the human body, while D2 (“ergocalciferol”) is the form produced in plants and animals.
Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, et al. Prevention of nonvertebral fractures with oral vitamin D and dose dependency: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:551-61.
Munger KL, Levin LI, Hollis BW, Howard NS, Ascherio A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006; 296:2832-8.
Gillespie KM. Type 1 diabetes: pathogenesis and prevention. CMAJ. 2006; 175:165-70.