Vitamin D deficiency is a problem for many people (75% of Americans according to this study), and the impact of Vitamin D deficiency can cause a variety of health concerns. Likewise, maintaining the proper level of Vitamin D in your body can have near and long term health benefits.
Vitamin D supplements are a great way to keep your Vitamin D levels up but just as there are health risks of low Vitamin D levels, having your Vitamin D level too high runs the risk of it's own serious complications.
Unfortunately, most insurance will not cover testing your Vitamin D levels so patients can monitor their level. And even insurance negotiated rates often are greater than $150 for this single test.
Vitamin D is a hormone with the primary responsibility of maintaining proper calcium levels in the body.
It increases absorption of calcium and helps to maintain the appropriate balance between blood levels and the storage of it in bone. In recent years, extensive research has been done on vitamin D, showing its importance for optimum health and disease prevention. Some of the conditions shown to be helped by optimum vitamin D levels:
- Infections - low vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of infections, specifically respiratory infections,
- Depression - some small studies have shown that adequate vitamin D levels can lessen symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and depression
- Cancer - vitamin D supplementation during certain types of chemotherapy showed increased effectiveness of the therapy. Additionally, it has been shown to decrease muscle pain and increase muscle strength in some patients with cancer.
- Multiple Sclerosis - Vitamin D appears to have a protective effect against MS.
- Pre-Diabetes - Vitamin D has been shown to slow the overall rise in blood glucose in patients with diabetes over a 3 year period
- Menstrual related migraines - adequate levels of vitamin D are associated with decreased severity of pre-menstrual migraines
- Autoimmune disease - An inverse relationship between autoimmune disorders and vitamin D levels have been found, meaning that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased autoimmune activity and vice versa.