Stories tagged vitamin D

Mar
20
2010

Vitamin D supplement study in children reduced catching flu almost in half

Vitamin D: Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D found in the body.
Vitamin D: Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D found in the body.Courtesy JaGa

Last week I blogged about why Vitamin D is needed for health.

This week I came across another study showing that Vitamin D is a flu fighter. The study has just been published online, ahead of print, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In the study children were asked to swallow six pills a day (25% dropped out). Half of the children's pills were placebos (fake). The pill givers did not know which pills were fake (double blind).

Incidence of influenza A was 10.8 percent among the 167 kids who received vitamin D pills. That's in contrast to a flu rate of 18.6 percent among an equal number of children getting identical looking inert pills. Doctors monitoring the trial confirmed flu cases using a test to assay for the influenza-A germ.

Vitamin D group had fewer asthma attacks

The study also noted that two asthma attacks occurred during the trial among kids getting the vitamin, compared to 12 in the unsupplemented group. The study doesn’t say whether the same number of kids with a history of asthma were in each group so this result may not be valid.

Better protection after 3 months of Vitamin D

The researchers also stated that it may take almost three months “to reach a steady state of vitamin D concentrations by supplementation". I interpret this to mean that takes our bodies about 90 days to accumulate an effective Vitamin D concentration (less illness after 3 months of taking vitamin D than during initial 3 months).

Mar
07
2010

T cell activation
T cell activationCourtesy NIH

Vitamin D necessary to fight disease

When members of our body's immune system called T cells encounter germs and viruses they change into "killer cells" and "helper cells".
A new study published today in Nature Immunology explains why Vitamin D is so important to our health.

"When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device of 'antenna' known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D," ...If there is an inadequate vitamin D level, they won't even begin to mobilize."

Most people lack enough Vitamin D

According to a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that "77 percent of U.S. adults and teenagers surveyed did not have the estimated minimum healthful level of 30 nanograms per milliliter in their blood. And just three percent of blacks in the survey were getting enough of the vitamin."

Cod liver oil

While living with my parents, I was given a table spoon of cod liver oil, a bowl of oatmeal, and a half of an orange for breakfast each day. I might have to consider adding cod liver oil to my diet again (most people think it tastes nasty).

Jun
24
2008

The big D: Research continues to shed light on the role vitamin D plays in our bodies.
The big D: Research continues to shed light on the role vitamin D plays in our bodies.Courtesy Leo Reynolds

We've talked beforeon Science Buzz about the link between sunlight, vitamin D and cancer. Well, the story just won't go away...

Here's more evidence that sunlight = vitamin D = a healthier life.

And research that shows vitamin D can reduce the risk of diabetes.

And also reduce risk of a heart attack.

But, just to keep things balanced, here's a report that vitamin D doesn’t do everything – some of the health benefits claimed for the vitamin don’t stand up to research

And here’s a summary of the pros and cons of vitamin D and sun exposure.

Jan
09
2008

Today’s article is brought to you by the letter D
Today’s article is brought to you by the letter DCourtesy Leo Reynolds

Hard to do this time of year. And lots of people shun the sun to avoid skin cancer. But science now says sun avoidance is bad for you. It can lead to vitamin D deficiency.

Your skin produced vitamin D naturally when it is struck by sunlight. Too little vitamin D can lead to some nasty diseases, such as rickets, a softening or weakening of the bones.

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot lately. Canadian researchers have found that non-whites are especially prone to vitamin D deficiency. (Dark skin evolved in sunny areas as a way to keep the body from producing too much vitamin D, which also causes problems. When dark-skinned people move to less sunny areas, their anti-sun defense actually starts to work against them.)

A doctor in Buffalo, NY has linked low levels of vitamin D to high incidence of cancer.

Doctors at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington note that a lack of milk and sunshine is leading to is preventing children from developing strong, healthy bones.

A study at King's College in London suggests that vitamin D may slow aging.

Aug
25
2007

Sun, sun, Mr. golden sun.: Sunlight has both positive and negative effects on the body.  Sure is pretty, though, ain't it?  Photo by S4N7Y from Flickr.com
Sun, sun, Mr. golden sun.: Sunlight has both positive and negative effects on the body. Sure is pretty, though, ain't it? Photo by S4N7Y from Flickr.com

Sunlight is good for you! It helps your body produce vitamin D. And lots of us could use more vitamin D.

Sunlight is bad for you! Overexposure to ultraviolet light can lead to skin cancer.

Sunlight is good for you! A new study shows that vitamin D helps prevent breast cancer.

Sunlight is a myth! It hasn’t stopped raining here in over a week.