Vitamin D3 Deficiency
Vitamin D3 is involved in the immune system and has shown a protective effect against the formation of cancer in the colon, the prostate and breast. Without sufficient vitamin D3, bones can become thin and brittle and that may lead to a risk of osteoporosis. Recent studies into vitamin D3 proved that its deficiency contributes to a wide variety of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, possibly autism, and periodontal disease.
Main Risk Factors of Vitamin D3 deficiency
While growing awareness that vitamin D deficiency has serious health consequences highlights the need for assessment of the vitamin D nutritional status, it is important to know the main risk factors. If you find yourself in any of the categories below, you would be well advised to get a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D deficiency is particularly high in people with dark-skin who live far from the equator, get little sun exposure and consume little vitamin D. In this connection Professor Holick says that it can be a reason “why African Americans develop more prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer and get more aggressive forms of those cancers.”
John Flack, principal investigator at the Center for Urban and African American Health at Wayne State University, Detroit, also says that vitamin D deficiency is “potentially a very important explanation for some of the differences, from hypertension to cancer to heart failure.”
Lack of Sun Exposure
A dramatic effect of seasonal and latitudinal changes of solar UV radiation on vitamin D synthesis was revealed in experimental studies in Boston, USA. It was discovered that below a certain threshold of UV radiation no photo conversion of provitamin D to previtamin D was detected.
Another study has found that, in clear atmospheric conditions, no dermal vitamin D production occurs at 51 degrees latitude and higher during some periods of the year. At 70 degrees latitude, vitamin D synthesis can be absent for five months. In general, clouds and thick ozone events reduce the duration of vitamin D synthesis considerably and can suppress it completely even at the equator.
Osteomalacia (the softening of the bones) has been documented in women who cover all of their skin whenever they are outside for religious or cultural reasons.The application of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95% .
The elderly have reduced capacity to synthesize vitamin D in the skin when exposed to UVB radiation. In addition, elderly people are more likely to stay indoors or use sunscreen therefore they are at extremely high risk of vitamin D deficiency without supplementation.
A risk of vitamin D deficiency is higher if you are overweight. Once vitamin D is synthesized in the skin or ingested, it is deposited in body fat stores that maks it less bio-available if you have large stores of body fat.
Vitamin D3 Deficiency: Rickets disease
Rickets disease develops in a child who is not getting enough Vitamin D and calcium. Although this disease had almost been eradicated by the end of the Second World War, new statistics suggest that almost 40% of young children in the UK now have below the threshold of vitamin D recommended as optimal referred to as a “deficiency”. There is no calcium deficiency (most people in the UK are getting enough in their diets), it is a lack of vitamin D that is the issue because without Vitamin D calcium cannot be absorbed to get into the bones and the other places such as the heart, muscles and nerves. After hearing this news some doctors now feel vitamin D supplements should be given from 6 weeks of age.
Vitamin D3 (hormone) is vital for bone health: it enhances intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. This hormone also regulates T cells and acts as an immune system modulator in the body. Researchers found that Vitamin D3 supplements can help in the prevention of different types of cancers; reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. It regulates the circulation of Renin (enzyme) in our blood stream, responsible for the rise of blood pressure. Deficiency of Vitamin D3 has also been connected to psychiatric and neurological disorders.