The consequences of vitamin D deficiency are indeed dramatic and not at all good. For far too long (according to Jeff Bowles, since the 1930’s), vitamin D has been underrated and even unfairly disparaged apparently to avoid distracting from drug approaches to health. We won’t be able to give the sunshine vitamin its due here, but let’s make a start with a few facts:
- A very large and lengthy study showed that low levels of vitamin D are associated with greater incidence of dementia. Blood test levels told the story. Those with levels of 25(OH)D at <25 nmol/L [low!] were half again as likely to experience a stroke or dementia as compared to those with 50–75.9 nmol/L [more favorable level]” There are many possible ways in which vitamin D can help the brain, including improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
- A controlled trial showed that daily supplementation with 5000 IU vitamin D3 reduces influenza-like illness in healthcare workers. [Note that the FDA recommends supplementing only 800 IU of vitamin D and pegs the safe upper limit at 4,000.]
- Randomized controlled trials showed that vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with a 33% lower risk of COVID-19 infection that ended in death within 30 days. (Dark skinned individuals received more benefit from supplementation.) One possible reason for th benefit is that vitamin D seems to dampen the cytokine storm [immune over reaction] that can be deadly. The other type of vitamin, D2 did not provide statistically significant results. Dosages ranged from 20 IU [why bother?] to 50,000 IU [that’s what I take when infection threatens]. Sometimes hospitals use ultra-high inject-able doses of another form.
- A ten-year study of more than 12,000 older adults found that those taking vitamin D supplements were 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia during that time frame. The association was somewhat stronger in women likely due to D’s relationship to estrogen.
The unwelcome costs of low vitamin D levels include high blood pressure, arthritis, infection, kidney disease, immune system problems, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and diabetes to name a few. [No, I do not sell vitamin D or even have a sponsor that does. I’m just a believer!] Learn more about vitamin D from this page in the HBN Library.