Vitamin D Deficiency:
We are all aware these days that low Vitamin D levels will affect the growth of bone and teeth tissue, hair and nails. If you are young, then you need adequate Vitamin D and Calcium so that your bones will grow properly, and your teeth will be strong. If you are old, then you need Vitamin D, plus Calcium, so that your bones do not become fragile and brittle: Strong bones are less likely to fracture.
Deficiency of Vitamin D is now thought to be a factor in many conditions of ill health and disease. Recent studies, as well as older studies, have related Vitamin D deficiency to specific maladies of the health.
In New Zealand, the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D is between 200-600IU, and the recommended amount of calcium between 1100 mg amd 2500 mg daily. Many people fall short of even these minimum requirements. Deficiency of Vitamin D and Calcium over a period of time can have serious consequences.
Low Vitamin D levels have been found in people with congestive heart failure. This is not to be confused with an actual heart attack: heart failure is when the heart is simply not doing a good enough job of pumping that blood through the body. Symptoms that your heart may be underactive are slightly swollen legs and difficult breathing, or getting puffed easily when taking light exercise.
Vitamin D supplements, or cholecalciferol, taken with extra calcium, was found to help many people suffering from congestive heart failure. Dr Shaun Holt and Iona MacDonald discuss these results in their book “Natural Remedies that Really Work’. This is published by Craig Cotton Publishing, Nelson, New Zealand, 2008 and 2010.
This author also relates low Vitamin D levels, with low calcium, to the occurence of type 2 diabetes. He quotes the research which suggests that people with glucose intolerance are less likely to develop diabetes type 2 if their Vitamin D and Calcium levels are increased.
Dr Holt recommends more exposure to natural sunlight and increasing the intake of Vitamin D rich foods, which include the oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, and fish liver, egg yolk and meat.
In a study of children who had Type 1 diabetes mellitus, it was found that 76% had inadequate levels of Vitamin D. Adequate Vitamin D is important for growing children, not just because it helps to build strong bones and teeth hair and nails, but because it strengthens the immune system so that there is more resistance to diseases like type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Dr Holt suggests 400IU of Vitamin D be given to at risk children, unless their intake is adequate through diet and plenty of sunlight. Note: Of course this must be done under the guidance of a health professional. Too much Vitamin D can cause toxicity in the body, which can damage the liver and other organs, so one must be careful with the dose.
Low Vitamin D levels have also been associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatic disorders, hyperesthesia, SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, migraines and some sleeping disorders.