March 12, 2011

100 Vitamin D: a Panacea? [7 February 2011]

Although the days are getting noticeably longer, we still have a few months of winter yet before we can get our Vitamin D outdoors from sunlight. Vitamin D has been linked to so many different types of health conditions, it sounds like a panacea.

Here are some of the conditions that have been linked to vitamin D deficiency: autism & pre-eclampsia (2 good reasons to ensure adequate D during pregnancy), rickets, osteoporosis, cancer (see column #42, 14 December 2009), certain skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema), periodontal disease, muscle pain, hearing loss, age-related macular degeneration, infertility, asthma, cystic fibrosis, migraines, auto-immune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, MS), Type 1 Diabetes, age-related DNA damage, obesity, impaired immune system (colds, flu, TB), hypertension, insomnia, and certain neurological conditions (depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s). And likely more yet to be discovered.

How can one vitamin do all this? Well first of all, it’s not really a vitamin, it’s a neuro-hormone. And it works by regulating (turning on or off) a large number of genes – so far 2,000 out of our body’s 30,000 genes are known to be regulated by Vitamin D. No wonder it can affect so many different areas in our health! Just think of all the different things that wouldn’t work in our homes if the electrical power went off – lights, fridge, stove, stereo, computer, furnace, air conditioner, and (if you live on a farm) the water and sewer pumps. So there are many, many reasons to make sure our vitamin D levels are adequate year around.

I can’t believe this is my 100th column already. I still have lots of ideas for topics so won’t run out for a while yet. I’m building a new website [] and plan to include past and future columns from the Eagle in a searchable form. I’ll let you know when it’s ready. [The columns are posted up to date as of March 14 - Stan]

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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