NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 25, 2011

Manganiello: New developments on vitamin D3

I've written before about the importance of vitamin D3 for health and well-being. New studies confirm that vitamin D3 plays a powerful role in protecting us from chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and life-threatening infections.

Recent research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that people with the lowest vitamin D levels have more than twice the risk of dying of serious illness than do people with highest vitamin D levels.

Additional studies also show significantly greater heart attack, prostate cancer and colon cancer risk in those deficient in vitamin D.

Low levels of vitamin D are also known to give rise to anxiety, depression and insomnia. Research involving more than 81,000 women published in 2011 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with high vitamin D levels had significantly fewer problems with depression.

Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked with breast and prostate cancer. A number of large studies have confirmed that the farther away one lives from the equator and direct sunlight, the greater the incidence of multiple sclerosis.

Millions of people have low levels of vitamin D. A Scientific American study showed that three quarters of American teens and adults have deficient vitamin D levels.

This is a huge problem because these deficiencies don't get remedied. Our health system to fails focus on prevention. This leads to many thousands of preventable illness and preventable deaths.

We have to ask why the public is not better informed through the media. God knows we hear enough about sports, scandals and politics.

Of our $2 trillion annual health care budget, about 2 percent goes to prevention. So it's very important that we take responsibility for preventing health problems while we can.

Supplementing with vitamin D3 can be a good way of doing just that. Studies show that optimal vitamin D3 levels go a long way in preventing Americans from getting ill and dying. We need to do what's necessary to keep our vitamin D levels at optimal levels.

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