Of late there has been an avalanche of new research about vitamin D. Today we'll have a little roundup of the most recent studies about the break-out vitamin of the year.
The following new findings, all of which have surfaced in journals and news reports in the last week or thereabouts, give a fairly representative idea of how wide-ranging and positive the expanding knowledge of vitamin D has become. The items that are highlighted today are just a cross-section, and only the most recent, but it is very apparent from this small sample how important vitamin D supplementation is to our future well-being and health.
Vitamin D, Body Fat and Height
Canadian researchers have unexpectedly uncovered links between vitamin D insufficiency and populations that have increased body fat and decreased height. "Our study indicates that vitamin D insufficiency is extremely common in young women living in a sun-rich area of the United States," wrote the authors of the study, which was first reported in the most recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. "[The study] also supports the hypotheses that either vitamin D insufficiency is a risk factor for increased body fat or increased body fat is a risk factor for vitamin D insufficiency." The study's subjects were all young women, so researchers were not able to generalize their findings across more diverse population, but still: "The positive association between height and vitamin D status is unexplained and intriguing, and warrants further investigation."
Medscape: Vitamin D Insufficiency Linked to Increased Body Fat
Vitamin D and Fertility
Australian scientists have found that vitamin D plays a key part in male infertility. In a study which was released late last month, researchers found that nearly a third of infertile men were vitamin D deficient. "Vitamin D and folate deficiency are known to be associated with infertility in women, but the outcomes of the screening among men in our study group came as a complete surprise," said Dr. Anne Clark, medical director of the Fertility First clinic in Sydney. The study has a recent corollary for females -- a European study earlier this year found that healthy vitamin D levels strongly related to women's ability to conceive.
News.com.au: Lack of sunlight linked to male infertility
Vitamin D and Radiology
Radiology experts from the NYC Department of Health believe vitamin D is one of the body's main protections against low levels of radiation. Thus far, no drug has been found fight the long-term effects of radiation, where cancer is a huge concern. Such a drug would be invaluable in the event of a nuclear episode, such as the fallout which was seen in Chernobyl in northern Ukraine. It seems that certain dietary supplements, principally vitamin D, may have the answer. Studies are forthcoming, and you can check out more of the preliminaries here at Science Daily:
Could Vitamin D Save Us From Radiation?
Vitamin D and Thyroid Problems
A study from the University of Califonia, Los Angeles, shows that low vitamin D levels are link to increasing complications and problems for the thyroid. The lack of vitamin D causes the thyroid to be more susceptible to injuries that produce hyperthyroidism, a complication unforeseen by researchers.
Wellness Resources: Vitamin D and Hyperthyroid
Vitamin D and Colorectal Adenomas
It has been found that high vitamin D intake is related to a decrease in colorectal adenomas and recurrent adenomas according to a meta-analysis published in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Individuals with the highest levels of vitamin D levels were found to have a 30% decreased risk for colorectal adenomas, and several studies have gone on to suggest that vitamin D along with calicum supplements can decrease the actually incidence of colorectal cancer. More research is intended for this topic, including randomized trials that will help to confirm vitamin D's role with this form of cancer.
Cancer Consultants: Vitamin D Prevents Colorectal Adenomas