The major source of Vitamin D in humans should be from sunlight. Measurement of 25-dihydroxyvitamin D in the blood is the proper way to determine if the patient is receiving enough vitamin D, with 20 ng/mL being a daily dose believed to be sufficient to prevent bone disease. A healthy level of Vitamin D is 30 ng/mL.
Diseases besides those of the bone that are associated with low vitamin D intake are the following: many cancers, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular heart disease, and type 1 diabetes.
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D controls cell growth, controls production of renin by the kidney, changes immune function and controls calcium absorption in the intestine.
Vitamin D deficiency in the first two years of life results in rickets, with bone deformities. In adult life, the result is osteoporosis and osteomalacia. A high percentage of patients with non-specific complaints of bone pain, muscle weakness, and muscle pain have Vitamin D deficiency that responds to Vitamin D treatment. These people often have, incorrectly, received the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, myositis, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Nearly every tissue in the body has Vitamin D receptors that bind vitamin D. They are in the brain, heart, stomach, pancreas, skin, gonads, and immune cells. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of colon, breast, prostate, ovarian, and esophageal cancer.
A dose of 1,000 IU/day is considered essential by researchers.
CONCLUSION: Because of reduced exposure to sun, most people need vitamin D supplementation, today. Vitamin D plays a role in preventing cancer, autoimmune disease, bone diseases, diabetes, vascular disease and hypertension. A dose of at least 1,000 IU/day is suggested.
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