News / Health

Studies Find Increasing Health Benefits From Vitamin D

Michael Irwig gives staff lectures on Vitamin D at George Washington University Hospital
Michael Irwig gives staff lectures on Vitamin D at George Washington University Hospital

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

The U.S. Institute of Medicine is involved in a study that will likely result in an increase in the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.  Research shows vitamin D affects nearly every area of the body and low levels of vitamin D can have serious consequences.

It's the vitamin associated with the sun that we absorb through our skin, and increasingly block out when we use sunblock, to avoid getting skin cancer.

Vitamin D is also available in some foods, but as the world gets fatter, Vitamin D gets trapped in body fat.

What doctors are now discovering is that many people don't have enough vitamin D.


That's why Dr. Michael Irwig gives lectures on Vitamin D to the staff at the George Washington University Hospital.

"Vitamin D has become a very hot topic in medicine now as we are discovering very high levels of vitamin D deficiency in our population, not only in the U.S., but worldwide," said Dr. Irwig.

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and helps form and maintain strong bones.  Extreme vitamin D deficiency causes deformities in children and weak bones in adults.

Doctors rarely see these conditions.  But studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, several types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and some autoimmune disorders.

Low levels of vitamin D are even associated with high blood pressure.

"What's very interesting about vitamin D is that it's involved all throughout the body, and it's involved on a local level, so you can have vitamin D active in the breasts, in the prostate, in the colon, and it's thought that the locally-acting vitamin D is helping to protect the body against these cancers, regulating how cells grow and how cells die," added Dr. Irwig.

Doctors are also finding connections between vitamin D and pregnancy.  

"There have been some studies showing that if you give pregnant women 4,000 units of vitamin D a day, their rates of complications in pregnancy are much decreased," noted Dr. Irwig.  "If you look at things like infection, pre-term delivery, even gestational diabetes mellitus, they are all reduced with givng pregnant women higher doses of vitamin D."

The Institute of Medicine, which advises the U.S. government on health, is expected to update its recommended amount of vitamin D by September.  It currently recommends 200 to 600 units of vitamin D daily.  But many experts, including Dr. Irwig, recommend adults take 1,000 to 2,000 units a day, an amount only possible to get though supplements.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid