The importance of Vitamin D for healthy bones.

This post was written by admin on April 6, 2009
Posted Under: Vitamin D
A recent review of previous studies in Switzerland has again highlighted the importance of taking a vitamin D supplement, with the recommendation  to add 400 IUs (International Units) a day to your diet. University Hospital, Zurich, have particularly stressed the importance of taking this supplement to women entering the menopause and everyone over the age of 65.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency has long been known to cause certain disorders and not just in older people. Other groups susceptible to vitamin D deficiencies include those that have a poor diet or are deprived of sunlight. Good sources of Vitamin D in your diet include oily fish, liver, egg yolk and margarines. If these arent part of your regular diet you should consider taking vitamin D supplements. Your body produces vitamin D simply by exposure to the ultraviolet rays of sunlight. However, if for any reason you are unable to regularly be out in the sunshine; then again youd be well advised to consider a vitamin D supplement. Even for people with a good diet and able to enjoy at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a day, on average; vitamin D deficiency can arise. This can be due to poor intestinal absorption of the vitamin, liver and kidney disorders and even genetic defects. It is also known that prolonged use of anti-convulsion drugs like Phenytoin can result in vitamin D deficiency.

What happens if you dont get enough vitamin D?

In young children the condition of rickets (poor bone formation) will be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Whilst in adults it can result in calcium being lost from the bones, causing them to become fragile and brittle osteomalacia; a condition greatly exacerbated by a lack of vitamin D which keeps calcium and phosphates in the body in balance; mainly by aiding the absorption of calcium in the intestine.

What did the vitamin D study reveal?

A comparison of normal and diseased bones due to vitamin D deficiency

A comparison of normal and diseased bones due to vitamin D deficiency

Statistically the review of the previous studies in Zurich highlighted the advantages of taking higher doses of vitamin D supplement in reducing the risks of fractures in elderly people. The review involved more than 42,000 cases of people averaging 78 years of age. It revealed a 4% reduction in the risk of a fracture through falling and a startling 9% reduction in the risk of hip fractures, compared to those taking not taking a higher supplemental dose of vitamin D.

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