Vitamin D For Disease Prevention

Diet can be responsible for a lack of the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin.’ Vitamin D deficiencies can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of cancer and osteoporosis. Researchers from London’s Kingston University have developed a new, highly accurate blood test that can detect associations between diet and low levels of vitamin D. This enables them, and other healthcare professionals to access the levels of, and use, vitamin D for disease prevention in their clients. With the new test, developed by Declan Naughton and colleagues, the different forms of vitamin D the body absorbs from diet and sunlight, known as vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 respectively, can be individually distinguished from closely related compounds. “Many people know that the main source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight because humans produce a type of vitamin D naturally from the action of sun on the skin,” says Naughton. “But what’s perhaps less well known is that another type of the vitamin can be found in foods. Our new test can measure all the forms of vitamin D, and potentially help us to understand what is causing the deficiency. Perhaps people just need more sun, or maybe they should be looking more closely at their diet too.” … Read More

Vitamin D For Respiratory Viruses

Vitamin D may help reduce the incidence and severity of viral respiratory tract infections including influenza, according to a new Yale University School of Medicine and Greenwich Hospital study. To determine if the declining concentrations of vitamin D seen in the fall and winter could be a factor in the seasonal increased prevalence of respiratory viral infections such as the flu, James Sabetta, M.D., and colleagues followed 198 adults during the fall and winter. Of the 18 participants who maintained high vitamin D levels, only three (16.6 percent) developed viral infections. Of the 180 other participants, 81 (45 percent) developed viral infections. Those with the higher vitamin D levels also experienced a marked reduction in respiratory tract infection symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, fever, chills, fatigue, and general malaise. They also had less days ill. The lower levels of vitamin D seen in the winter may contribute to the prevalence of influenza. Indoor crowding is commonly thought to contribute to the influenza epidemics seen each winter. However, influenza epidemics do not occur in summer in crowded workplaces or other gatherings, despite the presence of the virus and a multitude of nonimmune people. Findings have implications for understanding the seasonality of certain infections and higher infection rates among individuals who are predisposed to lower concentrations of vitamin D, such as obese individuals. Vitamin D, which we get partially from exposure to sunlight, has known benefits: • Boosts the immune system. • Decreases high blood pressure. • Reduces the risk of developing arthritis. • Combats viral infections. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy for a wide range of health conditions as well as overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director. … Read More

Vitamin D And Diabetes

Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin” because people get most of their vitamin D from the sun, can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 55 percent. Over the last twenty years, Americans have developed a vitamin D deficiency, probably related to the use of sunscreen or being advised to stay out of the sun. While individuals should prevent excess sun exposure, they should also be aware that 90 percent of their vitamin D comes from sunshine and limited-time, outdoor sessions a few times a week can enhance health. A new study from Warwick Medical School indicates that high vitamin D levels can not only aid in preventing type 2 diabetes but can also reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by nearly 35 percent. The study appears in the journal Maturitas. While vitamin D deficiencies can lead to an increased risk of developing these diseases, the direct link between getting plenty of vitamin D and type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention is not yet determined. Health benefits of vitamin D include: • Formation and maintenance of strong bones. • Protection against osteoporosis and high blood pressure. • Immune system strengthening. • Protection against colon, breast and prostate cancers. … Read More

Vitamin D Deficiency And Asthma

Individuals with asthma may experience a worsening in asthmatic symptoms if they have a vitamin D deficiency, according to a new study. Vitamin D can affect lung function and asthmatic treatment. "Our findings suggest that low vitamin D levels are associated with worse asthma," says lead researcher Dr. E. Rand Sutherland, from the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver. Vitamin D is found in several dietary sources such as milk, fish and fish oils and eggs. In addition, the sun increases production of vitamin D; as little as 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure can help to prevent deficiencies. Health benefits of vitamin D: • Maintains calcium balance. • Regulates blood pressure. • Strengthens immunity. • Prevents viral infections. "It may be that vitamin D is acting as a modifier of the immune system or a modifier of steroid response in ways that are relevant to people with asthma,” adds Sutherland. The study appears in the January 28 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Findings indicate that a vitamin D deficiency may be linked to an increased inflammation and constriction of the airways. Restoring normal vitamin D levels in people with asthma may help to improve the respiratory condition. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage for the treatment of asthma as well as a wide range of health conditions. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calare … Read More

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