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A large percentage of the population would benefit from higher levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the prevention of some 20 common cancers, the prevention of bone problems, modulation of neuromuscular and immune function, reduction of inflammation, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. Vitamin D also seems to improve infertility, weight control and memory.

The D story

Vitamin D News Roundup

Here are some recent news clips about vitamin D that we think you should know about:

Vitamin D Instead of Antibiotics?

Not one but two recent studies have come to the conclusion that vitamin D may be more effective at fighting respiratory tract infections that antibiotics. The results of one do kind of hinge on the other. One study found that amoxicillin was surprisingly ineffective in treating lower-respirator-tract infections, while the other study found that people who took vitamin D3 supplements to the tune of 4,000IU/day for a year had a significantly reduced overall respiratory tract infectious score than people who were just given a placebo.

Vitamin D: Coming to Food Labels in the US

Great news in the USA – Food nutritional labels there are finally being overhauled in some ways that make a lot more sense. Take vitamins A and C, for example. Pretty much everybody in modern society in the US gets enough of both of those vitamins, so taking them off the labels makes sense. After all, people can only process so much information, so why waste valuable label space on vitamins nobody has a problem getting in the first place? Vitamin D, on the other hand, has been shown to be highly problematic for all kinds of people, so it makes much more sense to include it on food labels, because we need to do better with that one. Good move, USA!

Vitamin D Deficiency Correlated with Foot and Ankle Problems

Given what we already know about vitamin D and its critical role in bone health, you may be tempted to file this one in the too-obvious-to-mention category, but hang on a minute. What’s interesting in this little snippet is its emphasis that we do already know that vitamin D helps bones be healthy. So even though this is just a correlation study, where 60% of people with foot or ankle injuries were either insufficient or deficient in the vitamin D levels. Then it really does make sense for people at greater risk of foot/ankle injuries (athletes and the elderly for sure) to “bone up” on their vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Heart Health

Quite a few studies lately have been correlating vitamin D levels to cardiovascular disease, but don’t always go into much detail about how those levels were achieved to begin with. One Japanese study, however, was very clear that patients at risk from low vitamin D because of kidney problems had a greatly reduced risk of heart disease with vitamin D supplementation. We mention this because as with many such correlations, it’s still not clear if low vitamin D is one of the causes of heart disease or a result of it. As with our previous article on sunshine and cardiovascular health, it may not be the vitamin D itself, but some other process.

Sources for Further Reading:

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