All Posts tagged D

Vitamin D update

This meta-analysis supports a strong connection between low vitamin D and hypertension.

At the 2013 European Human Genetics conference in Paris, France, researchers discussed the largest study to ever examine a link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency.  Dr. Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan of the University College London said the results demonstrated “a significant link; for every 10% increase in 25(OH)D concentrations, there was a 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension.” The conclusion: “Our study strongly suggests that some cases of cardiovascular disease could be prevented through vitamin D supplements or food fortification.”

Santhanakrishnan, V. K. (2013, June). Genetic research clarifies link between hypertension and Vitamin D deficiency. Presented at 2013 European Human Genetics Conference, Paris, France.  https://www.eshg.org/474.0.html

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Vitamin K2

 A K2 deficiency leads to weak bones and teeth and clogged arteries. K2 has an influential role in the utilization of minerals, protection from tooth decay, growth and development, reproduction, protection against heart disease and the function of the brain. Vitamin K2 is produced by animal tissues, including the mammary glands and rapidly growing green plants.  
 
K2 protects against calcification of the arteries leading to heart disease, and is a major component of the brain. 

K2 works synergistically with vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D signal to the cells to produce certain proteins and vitamin K then activates these proteins.

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Vitamin D Update

Annals of Neurology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Both research papers suggest that battling deficiencies in elderly populations and people with multiple sclerosis could help to improve health and quality of life with vitamin D3.

In the first study, published in Annals of Neurology, researchers from Johns Hopkins University reveal that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased number of brain lesions and signs of a more active disease state in people with MS.
Low levels of vitamin D could be responsible for more severe multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and an increased risk of death in the elderly.

Some 2,362 brain MRI scans from 496 people were studied. Researchers found that each 10 ng/ml increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels was associated with a 15% lower risk of new T2 lesions and a 32% lower risk of a gadolinium-enhancing lesion. Each 10ng/ml higher vitamin D level was also associated with lower disability.
“Lower levels of vitamin D are associated with more inflammation and lesions in the brain. If we are able to prove that through our currently-enrolling trial, it will change the way people with multiple sclerosis are treated.”

The second study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggests that low levels of D, in combination with high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), are associated with increased mortality in African American and Caucasian older adults. Researchers looked at 2,638 well-functioning blacks and whites (49% male, 39% black) aged 71-80 years with measured 25(OH)D and PTH. “We observed vitamin D insufficiency in one-third of our study participants. This was associated with a 50% increase in the mortality rate in older adults.”

The good news is it’s easy to improve vitamin D status either through increased skin exposure to sunlight or through diet or supplements.

Annals of Neurology 72(2):234-240, 2012
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism; Published online ahead of print.

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Why is it common for active women to have vitamin deficiencies?

Being active does not mean one is eating well. Being active does not preclude other negative lifestyle factors such as adequate rest or stress reduction. Vitamin insufficiency is common. Much is patient specific. Calcium intake data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that the mean dietary calcium intake among adults in the U.S. is 800 mg/day, well below the recommended intake for adults of 1,000 to 1,200 mg/day.

“…All postmenopausal women can benefit from non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce the risk of fracture, including a balanced diet with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, measures to prevent falls or to minimize their impact, smoking cessation, and moderation of alcohol intake…” Delaney MF. Strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis during early postmenopause. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;194(2 Suppl):S12-23.

“…Maintaining adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. Optimal calcium intake is especially relevant during adolescence, when most bone mineral accretion occurs. Because of the influence of the family’s diet on the diet of children and adolescents, adequate calcium intake by all members of the family is important…” Greer FR, et al. Optimizing bone health and calcium intakes of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics 2006;117(2):578-85.

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Atherosclerosis & Vitamin D

Atherosclerosis is still responsible for the highest number of deaths in the U.S. Approximately one million people die from the disease each year. In one article I read it said atherosclerosis is the leading killer of both men and women after the age of 46.

Atherosclerosis, a type of arteriosclerosis, is a condition in which fatty material (plaque) collects along the walls of arteries and as this fatty material thickens, and hardens it may eventually block arteries. Over time, the plaque can make the artery narrow and less flexible. In essence the artery becomes stiff.

A group of researchers now believes that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in causing the problem. In fact, they find that reduced levels of vitamin D appear to correlate with increased arterial stiffness.

I still recommend 2-3,000 IU of vitamin D 3 per day and make sure that you do some stretching. There is evidence that whole body stretching is helpful to reduce arterial stiffness.

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Vitamin D for older women

Older women with low levels of vitamin D, may be more likely to gain weight, a new study indicates.

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR said their findings are significant since most women aged 65 and older do not have enough vitamin D in their blood.

The researchers followed more than 4,600 women aged 65 and older over the course of nearly five years. The study found the women with low levels of vitamin D gained about two more pounds during that time than those with normal levels of the vitamin.

Low levels of vitamin D were found in 78% of the women. These women generally weighed several pounds more to begin with. In the group of women that did gain weight, those with insufficient vitamin D levels gained 18.5 pounds over five years. In comparison, the women with normal vitamin D levels gained 16.4 pounds during that time frame.

The author said “Nearly 80% of women in our study had insufficient levels of vitamin D”. Older women may need higher doses of vitamin D to keep their bones strong and prevent fractures.

Journal of Women’s Health.

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Low Vitamin D Status Could Boost Children’s Allergy Risk

Low vitamin D levels could increase the likelihood of children developing allergies, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded after studying the blood tests of 6,500 people. Lead researcher Michal Melamed, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health said: “It is one link in the puzzle, or a first step. It is not the definitive study to show this link but one of the first large studies that shows that this association exists. There are many other reasons to make sure that children and adolescents receive the daily recommended intake of vitamin D—including, importantly, bone health.” Melamed and her team examined serum vitamin D levels in blood collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,100 children and adolescents and 3,400 adults in 2005-2006. The study defined children and adolescents as participants aged one to 21. The samples were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children across the U.S. One of the blood tests assessed was sensitivity to 17 different allergens by measuring levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a protein made when the immune system responds to allergens. No link was found between vitamin D levels and allergies in adults. But, for children and adolescents, low vitamin D levels could be linked to sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested. Those included both environmental allergens, such as ragweed, oak, dog, and cockroach, and food allergens such as peanuts. Children who had vitamin D deficiency—defined as fewer than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood—were 2.4 times as likely to have a peanut allergy than were children with sufficient levels of vitamin D—defined as more than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood.

I recommend children take 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D daily. 

Order D3 from Metagenics @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com

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Vitamin D Helps Parkinson’s Disease

High blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 67%, compared with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, says a new study from Finland.

Researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki analyzed data from 3,173 Finnish men and women aged between 50 and 79. Over an impressive 29 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 50 cases of Parkinson’s disease.

The study is reported to be the first longitudinal analysis of vitamin D status and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Writing in the Archives of Neurology, the authors note that the exact mechanism is unknown, but postulated that vitamin D may be exerting a benefit through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons.

“Our results are in line with the hypothesis that low vitamin D status predicts the development of Parkinson[‘s] disease,” the researchers wrote. “Because of the small number of cases and the possibility of residual confounding, large cohort studies are needed. In intervention trials focusing on effects of vitamin D supplements, the incidence of Parkinson[‘s] disease merits follow up.”

In an accompanying editorial, Marian Leslie Evatt, MD, MS, from Emory University in Atlanta described the study as “the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.”

Evatt cautioned however that “further work is needed in both basic and clinical arenas to elucidate the exact role, mechanisms and optimum concentration of vitamin D in Parkinson’s disease.”

Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain affected most by Parkinson’s, the substantia nigra, contains high levels of the vitamin D receptor, which suggests vitamin D may be important for normal functions of these cells.

The study involved the measurement of vitamin D levels in over 3,000 people. The data showed that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s, compared to the group with the highest levels.

In the editorial, Evatt added that “it seems prudent to confirm the findings presented in this issue and investigate whether the apparent dose-response relationship observed in the current study maintains its slope, levels off or becomes negative with higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations.”

“In the interim, data from interventional studies of fractures and falls appear to justify optimizing vitamin D levels to greater than 30 to 40 nanograms per milliliter,” she concluded.

Archives of Neurology 57(7):808-811, 2010

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Vitamin D deficiency

ScienceDaily (Aug. 24, 2010) — The extent to which vitamin D deficiency may increase susceptibility to a wide range of diseases is dramatically highlighted in newly published research. Scientists have mapped the points at which vitamin D interacts with our DNA — and identified over two hundred genes that it directly influences.

The results are published in the journal Genome Research.

It is estimated that one billion people worldwide do not have sufficient vitamin D. This deficiency is thought to be largely due to insufficient exposure to the sun and in some cases to poor diet. As well as being a well-known risk factor for rickets, there is a growing body of evidence that vitamin D deficiency also increases an individual’s susceptibility to autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, as well as certain cancers and even dementia.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have shown the extent to which vitamin D interacts with our DNA. They used new DNA sequencing technology to create a map of vitamin D receptor binding across the genome. The vitamin D receptor is a protein activated by vitamin D, which attaches itself to DNA and thus influences what proteins are made from our genetic code.

The researchers found 2,776 binding sites for the vitamin D receptor along the length of the genome. These were unusually concentrated near a number of genes associated with susceptibility to autoimmune conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (or ‘lupus’) and rheumatoid arthritis, and to cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and colorectal cancer.

They also showed that vitamin D had a significant effect on the activity of 229 genes including IRF8, previously associated with MS, and PTPN2, associated with Crohn’s disease and type 1 diabetes.

“Our study shows quite dramatically the wide-ranging influence that vitamin D exerts over our health,” says Dr Andreas Heger from the MRC Functional Genomics Unit at Oxford, one of the lead authors of the study.

The first author of the paper, Dr Sreeram Ramagopalan from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, adds: “There is now evidence supporting a role for vitamin D in susceptibility to a host of diseases. Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and the early years could have a beneficial effect on a child’s health in later life. Some countries such as France have instituted this as a routine public health measure.”

The main source of vitamin D in the body comes from exposing the skin to sunlight, although a diet of oily fish can provide some of the vitamin. Research has previously suggested that lighter skin colour and hair colour evolved in populations moving to parts of the globe with less sun to optimise production of vitamin D in the body. A lack of vitamin D can affect bone development, leading to rickets; in pregnant mothers, poor bone health can be fatal to both mother and child at birth, hence there are selective pressures in favour of people who are able to produce adequate vitamin D.

I recommend Iso D3 from www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com I recommend between 2,000 IU to 5,000 IU per day for most clients.

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