Vitamin Deficiency

Scary Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Research published in the journal Nutrition Research reports that roughly 42-percent of American adults have vitamin D deficiency. Dubbed the “sunshine” vitamin, it certainly has a sunny disposition on our general health and wellness. For instance, adequate vitamin D levels protect us from several forms of cancer (i.e., prostate and breast cancers), lower the risk of depression, and ensure strong immunity.

Alternately, vitamin D deficiency—which, according to the journal American Family Physician, is defined as a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the major form of this vitamin) less than 12-ng/mL in adults —can leave us exposed to all sorts of scary diseases and illnesses, including early death.

Eight scary effects of vitamin D deficiency…

Think you might have a Vitamin D Deficiency? Increase your intake with NatureWise Vitamin D Supplements (4.5+ rating on Amazon with over 10K consumer reviews). (As an Amazon Associate this site may earn from qualifying purchases.)

1. Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

For the sake of your heart, the American College of Cardiology would like you to know that low levels of vitamin D increase your risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) by about 32-percent. Their research also claims a 20-percent increase in other heart-related diseases that impact the heart’s blood vessel system.

On the other hand, researchers at the American College of Cardiology, report that adequate supplementation of vitamin D (at least 600-IU per day) strengthen immunity and reduce immune-related inflammation, which can extend to the heart and increase the overall risk of CAD.

2. Likelihood of Premature Death

A surprising body of research published in the American Journal of Public Health links vitamin D deficiency to early death. For this research, scientists analyzed 32 different studies that correlated low blood levels of vitamin D with early death.

Scientists found that individuals with vitamin D levels lower than 30-ng/mL greatly increased their risk of early death, resulting from exposure to several diseases and illnesses. Whereas, those with vitamin D levels equal to or greater than 30-ng/mL tended to live longer with far less incidence of fatal illnesses or diseases.

3. Higher Incidence of Dementia-Related Disease

A growing body of research, featured in the journal Neurology links low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Shockingly, vitamin D deficiency is considered to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 122-percent.

As research continues in the area of cognitive decline and vitamin D deficiency, studies show that even moderate deficiency in the sunshine vitamin can increase an individual’s risk of developing dementia by 53-percent as compared with those with adequate vitamin D intake.

4. Cancer Survival Chances

Research featured in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism notes that, if you develop cancer, your chances of survival increase depending on vitamin D intake. For instance, cancer patients with high vitamin D levels are considered to have better chances of remaining in cancer remission and of surviving the disease overall as compared with those who have low vitamin D levels.

Scientists claim that cancer patients can increase their rates of survival by up to 4-percent with every 10-point addition to the vitamin D level—particularly for those with colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma, who doubled their chances of survival due to adequate vitamin D levels.

5. Lowered Immune Function

There has been a long-established link between vitamin D levels and overall immune health. However, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland take the science that much further by solidifying a link between low vitamin D levels and pneumonia.

Researchers claim that vitamin D deficiency increases the likelihood of developing pneumonia by 2.5-times, due to weakened immunity. The same study suggests that low levels of vitamin D also increase the risk of other forms of respiratory illness.

6. Higher Risk Depression Response

Akin to lowered immunity, vitamin D deficiency has long been linked to depression. A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry reports that inadequate levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream will double the chances of a depression diagnosis.

After monitoring more than 31,000 study subjects, researchers noted a drastic loss of function in the hippocampus area of the brain (which harbors vitamin D receptors and helps regulate mood) due to low vitamin D levels compared to study participants with adequate vitamin D levels.

7. Higher Levels of Pain and Inflammation

Research published in the Journal of Arthritis Care & Research found that low levels of vitamin D in the blood elicit an inflammatory response, wherein the immune system strikes painfully at the joints.

In particular, roughly 30-percent of patients who suffer from vitamin D deficiency are also prone to a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. Likewise, the same research found that 62-percent of psoriatic arthritis sufferers are vitamin D deficient, which explains the severity of inflammation due to a rise of white blood cells within the body.

8. Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

The National Cancer Institute considers patients with higher levels of vitamin D in the blood as less likely to develop prostate cancer (in addition to colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancers). However, the chances of prostate cancer are considered up to 5-times greater if vitamin D levels are low in men.

The research connecting vitamin D deficiency and prostate cancer is still underway. However, scientists are developing a screening method to measure vitamin D deficiency in hopes that it will help with early diagnosis of prostate cancer in men.

Avatar

Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a weight loss expert who specializes in healthy living. She is dedicated to providing health-conscious individuals with the information they need to make great lifestyle choices that will make them look and feel better. In her spare time, Emily teaches Pilates at a local studio and enjoys activities like hiking, rowing and biking.

Dr. Gerald Morris

Dr. Gerald Morris

Gerald Morris, MD is a family medicine/internal medicine physician with over 20 years expertise in the medical arena. Dr. Morris has spent time as a clinician, clinical research coordinator/manager, medical writer, and instructor. He is a proponent of patient education as a tool in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic medical conditions.

X