What is Vitamin D-3?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is also used by the body to make hormones. The most bio-available and useful form is known as vitamin D-3 or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D is naturally produced in the skin when exposed to sun and is also obtained through food sources. However, more than 50% of patients who have their blood levels tested at the Institute for Progressive Medicine have vitamin D levels below the optimum range and our doctors regularly prescribe vitamin D-3 as a nutritional supplement.
The Many Roles of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D plays an important role in the maintenance of several organ systems. However, its major role is to increase the flow of calcium into the bloodstream, by promoting absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food in the intestines, and reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys; enabling normal mineralization of bone. It is also necessary for bone growth and bone remodeling by the bone cells known as osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or mis-shapen. Vitamin D deficiency results in impaired bone mineralization and leads to bone softening diseases, rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, and contributes to osteoporosis.
There have also been many recent studies strongly suggesting the positive role vitamin D plays in preventing osteoporosis, supporting normal calcium uptake and utilization, supporting the immune system, encouraging normal weight, supporting cancer prevention and recovery, reducing inflammation and decreasing all cause mortality.
Additional notes on Vitamin D:
Vitamin D deficiency common in U.S. children
A whopping 70 percent of American kids aren’t getting enough vitamin D, and such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers, according to two studies published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child’s risk of developing heart disease later in life, experts say.
Source Article: CNN.com
Vitamin D and Atherosclerosis
Increased vitamin D intake helps reduce the formation of foam cells, an early indicator of atherosclerosis. These cells are formed by white blood cells that engulf or “eat” oxidized LDL cholesterol and will then contribute to arterial hardening and reduced blood flow.
Source Article: American Heart Association
Vitamin D and Stroke
Low vitamin D levels have been associated in past studies with neurovascular injury – damage to the major blood vessels supplying the brain, brainstem and upper spinal cord. A university of Massachusetts study involving 96 stroke patients assessed blood status of vitamin D. Stroke patients who had low vitamin D levels (less than 30 ng/mL) showed two-times larger areas of dead tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply compared with patients who had normal vitamin D levels. Further, for each 10ng/mL reduction in vitamin D level, the chance for healthy recovery from stroke in three months decreased by almost half, regardless of the patient’s age or initial stroke severity.
This is a very significant difference in outcome correlated specifically to one nutrient that is easy to test and easy to supplement.
For More Information:
“After I read about the many health benefits of vitamin D, I decided to take a vitamin D test at the Institute for Progressive Medicine. I was surprised to see that my levels were low, even though I take a multivitamin that contains vitamin D. For the next few months I took one 5000IU capsule of vitamin D every day. When I retested my levels, they were normal. Thanks to IPM for informing your patients of the need for healthy vitamin D levels, and for providing high quality supplements that really work!” -N.S.