By Casie Terry
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Why take extra vitamin D? Let us count the ways — especially around this time of year.
One study found that during the winter months, 28 percent of its participants were deficient in vitamin D (blood levels of < 20 ng/mL), while 33 percent had insufficient levels (blood levels of 20-29 ng/mL).
Vitamin D levels this low can become problematic, and, as research continues to uncover, can lead to serious health complications. From boosting the immune system to protecting against dementia, here are eight reasons it’s important to keep vitamin D levels up.
1. Protect vision
Want to save your vision? One study found that having adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin just may ward off the leading cause of blindness.
2. Reduce back pain
Low vitamin D levels may be responsible for your back pain. Stewart Leavitt, PhD, Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics, found that patients with chronic back pain usually had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Funny enough, when they were given adequate vitamin D supplementation, their pain either vanished or was significantly relieved.
3. Skip cold and flu season
Sufficient levels of vitamin D just may help you dodge a cold or flu. Scientists have found that inadequate levels of vitamin D lend to a deficiency in the immune defenses that protect us from infections, neoplasias or autoimmune diseases.
4. Dodge colon cancer
Having sufficient levels of vitamin D may mean life or death if you’re ever diagnosed with colon cancer. In fact, one study found that those with high levels of vitamin D were less likely to ever develop colon cancer, and more likely to survive if the cancer ever did developed.
5. Protect against breast cancer
Women who are genetically susceptible to breast cancer may benefit from higher vitamin D levels, as it interferes with the genetic pathway responsible for these types of tumors.
6. Be happy
You’ve likely heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. It’s the condition of feeling depressed and ‘blue’ during the darker winter months, and it’s thought that this is due to lack of the sunshine vitamin. Read up on how low vitamin D levels can impact your mood.
7. Reduce dementia risk
Vitamin D may lower your risk of developing dementia. It is believed that vitamin D helps to transport amyloid beta protein structures across the delicate blood-brain barrier so the clusters can be released for eventual disposal.
8. Improve blood pressure
Even making small improvements in vitamin D status can greatly reduce hypertension risk. In fact, according to one study, for every ten percent increase in vitamin D3 blood concentrations, the risk of developing hypertension decreased by 8.1 percent.
9. Lower heart attack risk
In a 2008 study, researchers found that men who had insufficient levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to have a heart attack than those who had adequate levels of the vitamin.
Previous articles by Casie:
- 5 Simple Tips to Help You Start Juicing Like a Pro
- 6 Things to Keep Your Memory Sharp
- 5 No-Fail Ways To Curb Your Sweet Tooth
- 8 Aromatherapy Scents and What They Can Do for You
- 5 Surprising Situations Fueling Your Anxiety
- 10 Best Nutrients for Skin Health
- 9 Year Old’s Blog Forces School to Improve Lunches
- “Buycott” Big Corporations: New Phone App Helps You Buy Healthy, Fair & GM-Free
About the Author
Casie Terry is Associate Editor of the natural health and wellness site, Live in the Now. She’s also a freelance writer, a blogger, an avid runner, a garlic enthusiast, a juicing aficionado and a lover of her dog, Mitzi.
This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter. Infographic courtesy of JustStand.org.