Vitamin D Supplement Provides Prevention

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Monday 1st February 2010

According to new research that has been conducted throughout ten European countries involving over half a million volunteers it has been revealed that Vitamin D supplements could prevent later developments of health complications including colon cancer and diabetes. With the role of Vitamin D traditionally thought of as a key player in bone strengthening, it could now provide a simple solution to several complicated diseases.

Until now, research into Vitamin D’s role has led to its definitive benefit to the production of calcium which is needed to strengthen and maintain bones. A severe deficiency of Vitamin D also led to a strong association with rickets. However, Vitamin D is produced by our bodies skin when exposed to sunlight which is evidently a problem in countries like the UK due to lack of sunlight and UV strength for many months at a time. Therefore, many people’s Vitamin D levels fall below the average needed level meaning they could be at greater risk of developing other diseases. Not only does the weather affect this but more controversially the use of sunscreen as this blocks the suns rays that help to produce Vitamin D.

Part of the research that was conducted in Finland involved the monitoring of people from the 1960’s which consequently showed a correlation between Vitamin D levels and Type 1 Diabetes. This is thought to be because Vitamin D itself is a steroid which can have an affect on receptors found on nearly every single cell within the body and its affect on receptors within the pancreas could provide the link between the vitamin and diabetes. The Finland researchers noted that due to their dismal weather, children’s risk of developing diabetes there as opposed to Venezuela was increased by a hundred times. Coinciding with this is research conducted within the UK which showed that if people are given Vitamin D supplements from childhood their risk of developing diabetes is reduced by a third.

Not only could Vitamin D provide a possible antidote for Type 1 Diabetes but as there are similar receptor sites that are Vitamin D specific in many other organs of the body, doctors are also convinced that the supplements could benefit these areas too. With the areas including the brain, kidneys, skeleton etc, further research is needed to investigate whether it could play a role in the development of other debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

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