Would not it be great if a vitamin could make stronger bones and protect against diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, and depression? Or even help you lose weight? While the research does not support the idea of a “wonderful pill,” some researchers still have high hopes for vitamin D, which comes from the skin’s reaction to sunlight, some foods, and supplements. Know the facts in the slides below … and see who is at risk of having a “D” deficiency.
Boosts Bone Health
Vitamin-D is critical for strong bones, from childhood to old age. It helps the body absorb calcium from food. In older adults with osteoporosis, a daily dose of “D” and calcium helps prevent fractures and brittle bones. It has also been shown to help reduce falls in the elderly residents of the community. Children need “D” to build strong bones and prevent rickets, a cause of arched legs, knees, and weak bones. Adding the vitamin to milk in the 1930s helped eliminate rickets.
And Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is more common far from the solar equator. For years, experts suspected a link between sunlight, vitamin-D levels and this autoimmune disorder that damages nerves. A more recent clue comes from a study of a rare genetic defect that leads to low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of MS. Despite these links, there is insufficient evidence to recommend vitamin-D for the prevention or treatment of MS.
Some studies have shown a relationship between a low level of vitamin-D and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. So, increasing D levels can help prevent the disease? There is not enough evidence for doctors to recommend taking this supplement to prevent diabetes. While we know that obesity is a risk for both vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes, we still do not know if there is a causal relationship between diabetes and vitamin D levels.
Low “D” and Depression
D plays a role in the development and function of the brain, and low levels of D have been found in patients with depression. But studies do not show that supplements help reduce the symptoms of depression. The best option is to talk to your doctor about what could help reduce the symptoms of depression.