Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vitimamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Vitamin D deficiency may be characterized by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities. Women with renal problems or intestinal concerns (such as IBS or Crohn’s disease) may be vitamin D deficient because they can neither absorb nor adequately convert the nutrient.
Vitamin D, menopause, and osteoporosis
I have recently been diagnosed with a vit D deficiency. I suffer from all of these symptoms. I now take 50,ooo units 2x a week. In the store you can buy up to 2,000 units. Oh MY!!! I just started and do hope it helps!!
Here is some more of the article a a link. Peace.
Vitamin D, menopause, and osteoporosis
As we age, our bodies slowly lose the ability to mobilize vitamin D, a process that lowers our calcium absorption rates. This creates a higher risk of osteoporosis, particularly in post-menopausal women.
We’re not sure how sex hormones affect vitamin D conversion, but women seem to have a harder time stimulating the mechanism that builds bone tissue when their estrogen levels are reduced.

Calcium is clearly an important co-factor to vitamin D, and may lose efficacy if vitamin D is deficient or estrogen levels are low, as vitamin D appears to be the more critical factor in bone health. A recent study by scientists at the University of Massachusetts found that a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help control some symptoms of PMS, such as tearfulness, anxiety, and irritability.
What does this mean? No one knows for sure, but it is more evidence that all the systems of the body are connected and we can’t look for easy answers in one place.

Vitamin D and weight loss
I’m sure many of you have seen the “diet with dairy” ads launched by the American Dairy Council. Some studies have shown that weight loss does occur with an increase in calcium intake, while others appear to refute this. Since vitamin D is directly involved in calcium absorption, it stands to reason that vitamin D is also a factor in how the body regulates weight.
Moreover, people who have a reduced capacity to mobilize vitamin D often weigh more and have more body fat than those with full capacity. In the past 20 years multiple studies have shown a correlation between higher blood levels of vitamin D and leaner body mass.

To my thinking, what seems essential for us to understand here is the vitamin D connection with insulin resistance. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the wide set of disorders associated with metabolic syndrome (syndrome X), as well as to PCOS. In a study published in 2004, the authors saw a 60% improvement in insulin sensitivity in healthy, vitamin D replete adults — and concluded vitamin D was more potent than two prescription medications commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes! But the cadres of drug reps spread out across America are not likely to be reminding your healthcare practitioner about this study. They are not likely to have heard about it!

Clearly, vitamin D seems to be very important in regulating our weight, but we don’t yet understand the mechanism involved or how it relates to our environment and individual biochemistry. Still, there seems to be a correlation between rising rates of obesity and vitamin D deficiency. If you are having difficulty with insulin resistance or weight gain — or can’t keep the pounds off once you lose them — you may want to have your vitamin D levels checked by your healthcare practitioner.
Vitamin D and cancer
Evidence is mounting that vitamin D may protect against some cancers, particularly breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancers. In fact, over 60 years of research have shown vitamin D supplementation or sunlight-induced vitamin D conversion to be associated with lower incidence of cancers.
There is also a higher incidence of breast cancer in northern climates, but whether that is associated with lower levels of vitamin D is still speculation. Vitamin D deficiency most certainly affects your immune system because calcitriol actually helps regulate cell division, so adequate levels may help sustain normal cell growth. And stress and other physiological markers can disrupt the function of vitamin D receptors, among others, making us more susceptible to unusual cell activity.

Vitamin D and depression
Another area of vitamin D research is its relationship to depression. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a situational mood disorder brought on by decreasing daylight in the winter months. High doses of vitamin D during these months have proven to be a very effective natural remedy for SAD, leading most practitioners to believe that normal neurotransmitter function depends in part on adequate vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D levels are inversely related to those of melatonin, another mood-regulating hormone. Melatonin helps modulate your circadian rhythms, with darkness triggering melatonin secretion by the pineal gland within your brain, bringing you down gently at night for sleep. Insomnia, mood swings and food cravings are influenced by melatonin. Sunlight shuts melatonin production off, while triggering release of vitamin D — that’s why doctors recommend getting outdoors as a remedy for jet lag.
Most of us can sense the positive influence of sunlight in our own lives by the immediate lift we get from taking a walk outdoors on a beautiful sunny day. Now there may be many factors at work that brighten our mood in such cases, but sun exposure is almost certainly a critical piece. Soaking in the warmth of the sun is one of the most relaxing activities we share with all living creatures — just watch a cat dozing in a beam of sunlight.
Major vitamin D functions
Supports key mineral absorption and metabolism (especially calcium and phosphorus in the blood and bones).
Regulates normal cell differentiation and proliferation (e.g., prevention of cancer).
Promotes insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation (insulin secretion).
Regulates over 200 genes through binding to vitamin D receptors throughout the body.

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