Research highlights recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency
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Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life.
The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a report in the December issue (Volume 3, Number 4) of Breastfeeding Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The paper is available free online at http://www.liebertpub.com/bfm
Vitamin D deficiency is common across populations and particularly among people with darker skin. Nutritional rickets among nursing infants whose mothers have insufficient levels of vitamin D is an increasingly common, yet preventable disorder.
Carol Wagner, MD, Sarah Taylor, MD, and Bruce Hollis, PhD, from the Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston), emphasize the need for clinical studies to determine the dose of vitamin D needed to achieve adequate vitamin D levels in breastfeeding mothers and their infants without toxicity.
In a paper entitled, “Does Vitamin D Make the World Go ‘Round’?” the authors point out that vitamin D is now viewed not simply as a vitamin with a role in promoting bone health, but as a complex hormone that helps to regulate immune system function. Long-term vitamin D deficiency has been linked to immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, and cancer.
“Vitamin D is a hormone not a vitamin and it is not just for kids anymore,” writes Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, in an accompanying editorial. “Perhaps the most startling information is that adults are commonly deficit in modern society. Vitamin D is now recognized as a pivotal hormone in the human immune system, a role far beyond the prevention of rickets, as pointed out in the article by Wagner et al in this month’s issue of Breastfeeding Medicine.”
Breastfeeding Medicine is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published quarterly. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding.
Three-quarters of youths with type 1 diabetes were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center - findings that suggest children with the disease may need vitamin D supplementation to prevent bone fragility later in life. “To our surprise, we found extremely high rates
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Vitamin D deficiency - which is traditionally associated with bone and muscle weakness - may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A growing body of evidence links low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to common CVD risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes, as well as major cardiovascular events including stroke and congestive heart
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Men who survived childhood leukemia treatment into adulthood were more likely to have low bone mineral density than other adults their age, putting them at risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, according to a new study. The study, led by James G. Gurney, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that 24
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Vitamin D is quickly becoming the “it” nutrient with health benefits for diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and now diabetes. A recent review article published by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing concluded that adequate intake of vitamin D may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and reduce complications
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