Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vitamin D: 1 Billion People Worldwide Are Vitamin D Deficient or Insufficient

Actually, I must say that I am surprised: It has been days, almost weeks since my last blogpost on Vitamin D. After all the individual findings of the last weeks, the review Hollick published in Current Drug Targets (Hollick. 2010) offers a comprehensive summary of some of the main findings of recent investigations:
Figure 1: In Great Britain Vitamin D3
supplementation appears indicated
at least in the winter month
It is now recognized that most cells in the body have a vitamin D receptor and they also have the capability of producing 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) which in turn is capable of regulating a wide variety of genes that have important functions in regulating cell growth, modulating immune function and cardiovascular health. Epidemiologic evidence and prospective studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with increased risk of many chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, deadly cancers, type II diabetes and infectious diseases. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency have been defined as a 25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/ml and 21-29 ng/ml respectively. For every 100 IU of vitamin D ingested the blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the measure vitamin D status, increases by 1 ng/ml. It is estimated that children need at least 400-1000 IU of vitamin D a day while teenagers and adults need at least 2000 IU of vitamin D a day to satisfy their body's vitamin D requirement. It is estimated that 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient. Correcting and preventing this deficiency could have an enormous impact on reducing health costs worldwide.
Whether this "pandemic" vitamin D deficiency is also part of the increasing number of diabetics, is yet still questionable. Boucher, however, argues (Bucher. 2010):
Data linking hypovitaminosis D to hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and metabolic disorders increasing cardiovascular risk [metabolic 'syndrome'] has accumulated over approximately 40 years. Many mechanisms are known whereby hypovitaminosis D could be causal, e.g. by increasing insulin resistance, reducing insulin secretion and increasing autoimmune or inflammatory damage to pancreatic islets.
So, do your heart, your pancreas and, not to forget, your bones a favor and grab some vitamin D supplements.