Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vitamin D deficiency: Common and problematic yet preventable

19.07.2007
In a review article to appear in the July 19th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Michael Holick, an internationally recognized expert in vitamin D, provides an overview of his pioneering work that expounds on the important role vitamin D plays in a wide variety of chronic health conditions, as well as suggesting strategies for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

Humans attain vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, diet and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is common in children and adults. In utero and childhood, vitamin D deficiency may cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and increase risk of hip fractures later in life. In adults, vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

According to Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, it has been estimated that 1 billion people world-wide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Without vitamin D only about 10-15 percent of dietary calcium and about 60 percent of phosphorus is absorbed by the body. This is directly related to bone mineral density which is responsible for osteoporosis and fractures, as well as muscle strength and falls in adults. In utero and childhood, calcium and vitamin D deficiency prevents the maximum deposition of calcium in the skeleton.

Studies have shown people living at higher latitudes (where the angle of the sun’s rays are unable to sufficiently produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in the skin) are more likely to develop and die of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. According to Holick, both prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies have also shown an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Holick believes the current recommended Adequate Intakes for vitamin D need to be increased to 800 – 1000 IU vitaminD3/d. “However, one can not obtain these amounts from most dietary sources unless one is eating oily fish frequently,” says Holick. “Thus, sensible sun exposure (or UVB irradiation) and/or supplements are required to satisfy the body’s vitamin D requirement,” he adds.

Lastly Holick adds, “The goal of this paper is to make physicians aware of the medical problems associated with vitamin D deficiency. Physicians will then be able to impart this knowledge to their patients so they too will know how to recognize, treat and most importantly, maintain adequate levels of this important vitamin.”

Gina Digravio | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bmc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>