New data suggests that inflammation is the culprit for the incredibly high incidence of deficiency of this nutrient.
Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with high incidences of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, poorly functioning immune systems, and musculoskeletal disorders.
A new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that 2 days after knee surgery serum levels of vitamin D dropped 40%, and that three months later levels were still 20-30% below presurgery levels. These researchers showed that this directly correlated with acute inflammation after surgery.
Surprisingly, they also found that the study participants were deficient in vitamin D before the surgery--so deficient that they had secondary hyperparathyroidism!
More research is linking vitamin D to musculoskeletal disorders. A recent study in Headache shows that headache increases with latitude and during seasons with shorter days. They correlated this information with evidence that vitamin D has alleviated headaches in some studies to form a hypothesis that Vitamin D deficiency plays a key role in the development of headache in some people.
Another recent study from the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Carefound "a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal pain, headache, or fatigue."
Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies, according to epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Garland’s findings only lend further credence to the mountain of growing evidence that optimal levels of vitamin D are essential for your health. Here are just a few highlights into some of the most noteworthy findings:
* Some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased, according to previous research by Dr. Garland and colleagues. And that’s just counting the death toll for two types of cancer.
* Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.
* A large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled study on vitamin D and cancer showed that vitamin D can cut overall cancer risk by as much as 60 percent! This was such groundbreaking news that the Canadian Cancer Society has actually begun endorsing the vitamin as a cancer-prevention therapy.
* Light-skinned women who had high amounts of long-term sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer (cancer that spreads beyond your breast) as women with lower amounts of regular sun exposure, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
* A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths -- which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States -- could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.
Inflammation is likely at the root of many cases of vitamin D deficiency, and all chronic degenerative diseases.
If your D is low, get a test that compares Arachodonic Acid to EPA--this is a sensitive test for inflammation that compares omega-6's to 3's in your body. If this ration is off it will deplete your vitamin D and erode your health.
The moral of the story is, get your D tested!