Vitamin D has been touted as the supplement of choice when it comes to preventing a wide range of health related issues including bone health and cardiovascular issues.
These days, vitamin D is also being noted for keeping colds at bay.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston reported their findings this month on the effect that higher levels of vitamin D had on children who were deficient.
Children in Mongolia – both third and fourth graders – some of them received normal milk with no vitamin D and the rest received daily milk fortified with 300 international units (IU) of vitamin D. After three months, blood levels of the vitamin in the control group were unchanged, while the level in the group who received supplements rose to an average of 19 ng/ml. At the end of the three months, the children’s parents were interviewed about the incidence of upper respiratory infections — that is, colds. The children who received vitamin D supplements had 50% fewer colds.
This is the newest study on the importance of this supplement. In the past, studies have showed that there are also protective effects from increasing your vitamin D intake.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association it was also reported that young adults with the highest vitamin D intake reduced their risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) by an astonishing 62 percent.
Those with vitamin D levels of 100 nmol/L or higher reduced their MS risk by 51 percent, compared to those with a lower vitamin D level.
Vitamin D also can protect you against certain cancers, according to an article in the Jan. 30 2008 issue of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
People who took the maximum recommended vitamin D dosage defined in the study (2,000 IU) and received a moderate amount of sun exposure had a dramatically reduced risk for both breast cancer (in women) and colorectal cancer.
The lesson to be learned is simple: Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing disease, particularly as we age. Good sources include fortified cereal, dairy products, fish and of course, vitamin D or multivitamin supplements. Ask your doctor for more information.