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Whats the deal with vitamin D?

I posted recently on the strong link between sun exposure, vitamin d levels, and health ✔️But how much do supplements actually help?? ✔️Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone - it's found in foods, but most of it is made from sunlight on skin ✔️Vitamin D is involved in: - metabolism of calcium and phosphate - control of cell growth (ie cancer) - immune function -insulin production - blood pressure regulation - bone and muscle strength ✔️Extreme deficiency leads to rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults (soft brittle bones), as well as muscle weakness ✔️Risk factors for deficiency include - people with darker skin and the elderly (reduced ability to make vitamin d from sun) - those who cover up from the sun/spend little time outside -people with kidney disease /inflammatory bowel disease/ malabsorption. -some people also have genetic variations that affect their ability to metabolise and transport vit D -people who are obese are also far more likely to be deficient, as vit D is stored in fat cells, meaning the body cannot use it ✔️Vit d deficiency has been linked to higher rates of - allergy - autoimmune disease - cancers - heart disease - dementia - falls - poor immunity - parkinsons disease - diabetes (type 1 and 2) - premature death ✔️Yet the evidence on whether supplementing vitamin d protects against these diseases is mixed - see my post on sunlight ✔️Diseases where vitamin d supplements MAY help: - allergic disease (ie eczema, asthma) - reducing risk of MS - inflammatory bowel disease - coronavirus - respiratory infections (daily dosing only, monthly dosing had little effect) - reducing risk of diabetes (type 1,2 and gestational) - parkinsons disease - cognitive decline (only if deficiency present) - reducing cancer deaths - reducing falls and fracture risk in elderly - improving bone strength ✔️Diseases where supplements do NOT appear to help : - heart disease - high blood pressure - prevention of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis - treatment of MS -cancer prevention ✔️Even though we don't know for sure whether vit d supplements prevent disease, supplementation at recommended doses is sensible if you can't get enough sun

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