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A vitamin D deficiency could be the reason for many medical problems, according to recent research. Researchers have found links to Alzheimer’s disease, complications and death after non-cardiac surgery, and fertility problems.
According to the first study, those with low levels of the vitamin have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In fact, elderly patients increase their risk by more than double by not having enough vitamin D in their bodies. 1,68 people over the age of 65 were part of the study and none had dementia or other related mental health issues. They were also not suffering from heart disease and could walk around without assistance.
Over a period of six years, the researchers looked into the vitamin D levels in all patients and looked to see who developed dementia. Those with moderate deficiencies had a 53 percent change of developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Those with a high deficiency saw their risk rise to 69 percent. For patients with a very high deficiency, the risk was up to 122 percent.
The next study showed that those with low levels of the vitamin were more likely to suffer serious complications after surgery not related to their heart. Some of these complications involved infections, while others were problems with the cardiovascular system and even death. This study involved looking into the records of almost 3,500 patients who has surgery from 2005 until 2011. The only patients involved were those with details about their levels of the vitamin.
The study found that as the level of the vitamin increase by just 5 ng/mL, the risk decreased by seven percent. However, it is not just to help prevent surgery complications and dementia. A deficiency in vitamin D could be the reason for many other medical problems, including fertility.
Many women going through pregnancy are encouraged to take folic acid. Some are encouraged to take calcium supplements, which often include the D vitamin. Before, it was often considered that vitamin D was needed to help with the absorption of calcium but now there are links that a deficiency could cause fertility issues.
A study carried out in Italy showed that women with good levels of the vitamin had double the chance of getting pregnant through IVF. Researchers believe that the vitamin helps to improve the relationship between the lining of the uterus and the embryo, which is created outside of the womb and reinserted medically.
There are a number of ways to improve levels of vitamin D. The first is to go out in the sun. Just 15 minutes per day is thought to be enough to keep the levels at a normal level. However, those in colder climates will struggle. The vitamin is also found in various foods, including tuna, eggs and yogurt. Orange juice is although said to be good for the vitamin.
However, there are also over the counter supplements available. It is always worth discussing with a doctor before taking supplements to make sure they are safe. For pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant, there are certain supplements to avoid.
The “sunlight vitamin” is extremely important for the body, but many suffer from a deficiency. It turns out that a vitamin D deficiency may be more serious than originally suspected, and could be the reason for many medical problems.
By Alexandria Ingham