Vitamin D’s Potential Preventative Power Against 7 Medical Conditions

2010-05-05 | |
Last updated: 2010-05-05

What Are Some Medical Conditions That Vitamin D Helps Prevent?

In particular, research suggests that the risks of the following 7 medical conditions can be reduced through adequate or enhanced Vitamin D intake.

1) Rheumatoid Arthritis
In a review of more than 9000 women living in the US, research carried out at the Boston University School of Public Health found more frequent Rheumatoid Arthritis cases in women living in more northerly locations. Their research also suggested that those living longer term in these more northern locations were even more likely to develop the disease than those who had lived there a shorter time. Based on this, the researchers suggest that one possibility for the increased risk is lower exposure to sunlight and subsequently lower levels of Vitamin D.

Though further research is certainly required to confirm this theory, other research has already shown similar relationships between low Vitamin D levels and other autoimmune diseases, making the suggested link reasonable.

2) Multiple Sclerosis
In the case of another autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis, the relationship between low levels of sunlight and higher risks of the disease has been known for sometime. However, research conducted in 2004 by the Harvard School of Public Health found more conclusively that the risk of Multiple Sclerosis was reduced by roughly 40% in women who took daily supplements of Vitamin D as compared to those who did not.

3) Type-2 Diabetes
Moving away from autoimmune disease to a growing epidemic, research has also found a relation between Vitamin D levels and Type 2 Diabetes. Earlier this year, scientists from Warwick Medical School analyzing numerous earlier studies involving roughly 100,000 people found that the risk of Type-2 Diabetes could be reduced by 55% by ensuring adequate levels of Vitamin D. As a study, however, the results do not show a direct relationship and further research will be required for that. Still, the results do show that Vitamin D is important in preventing the condition.

4) Breast Cancer
In addition to immune system disorders caused by low Vitamin D levels, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center determined a link between very low Vitamin D levels and breast cancer. From their study involving almost 1400 women, they concluded that the women with such low levels of the vitamin were at “considerably increased breast cancer risk”. The potential explanation that they offered was that Vitamin D interferes with the ability of estrogen to promote tumor growth.

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Category: Disease Prevention, General Health, Health Risks

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