Vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), also known as the sunshine supplement, is showing a positive connection as an indicator of disease within patients that have deficient levels, but a negative connection on whether it can actually prevent illnesses such as heart disease , cancer or diabetes. In a recent review of past studies ranging from about 500 or so shows that there is a link between better health and higher Vitamin D levels. Much of the data looked at came from previous observational studies that included information on what people have eaten or what kinds of supplements they take.
The new analysis from the “Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology” journal examined over 290 studies of adults ages eighteen and older that actually showed a moderate to even a high risk of various medical conditions when Vitamin D levels were low. Disorders such as infectious diseases, cardiovascular illnesses, various mood disorders and glucose-metabolism disorders seem to have a positive link to the sunshine vitamin deficiency.
In 172 randomized clinical studies, researchers found no indication of disease intervention while taking the supplement. Thus, research shows that both observational and interventional studies are linked to bad health. There were 2805 participants in the interventional study that showed a mean result of 25(OH)D blood concentrations less than the healthy level of 50 nmol/L. Researchers note that the lower 25(OH)D seems to be involved in illnesses with an inflammatory response related to disease. When patients deal with such disease related inflammation, it explains why the Vitamin D levels are lower and why the deficiency is related to so many disorders. More medical trials are still being conducted, so researchers suggest that using a supplement is not recommended.
More data will soon emerge within the current 5 trials that are being conducted. The trials include about 2150 to 20,000 participants that are 50 years or older. Researchers are looking into how 40 to 80 µg/day of Vitamin D supplements may affect various risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, fractures, infections and low cognitive ability problems. Results for these trials will not be available until 2017, but it helps researchers in testing out this new hypotheses.
The information that is driving the researchers to conduct these trials for the intervention of non-skeletal disorders is due to the fact that Vitamin D has a low toxicity level, the small amount of positive data from other trials, and a large amount of evidence from observational studies. Supplemental companies, including UV tanning booths, are actually very excited to see such trails in motion. They patiently wait and hope that such studies actually prove that Vitamin D supplementation can intervene many illnesses instead of the other way around, causing an economic boost.
Those who believe that Vitamin D supplementation can help with the intervention of illnesses claim that previous research has failed due to low dosages, testing of participants that are not considered very low in levels, incorrect formulation or a lack of medical follow-ups to name a few excuses.
Researchers advise that it really is in the best interests of patients to find out why those who suffer from various diseases are low in Vitamin D levels in the first place and then find a way to resolve the problems. It really is ill-advised for health practitioners to recommend patients to take such supplements if they fall under a sufficiency guideline of below 75 nmol/L, but sadly to this day it is still happening. Until further information is brought forth, it is wiser to fully understand why the sunshine Vitamin D deficiency may be a strong indicator of many diseases.
By Tina Elliott