VITAMIN D3 5000 - USA ONLY
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread across all population groups. Most physicians recognize that the elderly population is at risk, however it is less appreciated that children, young adults and middle age groups are also at risk.
Studies have shown that children in Madrid, Spain to Maine, New York were approximately 50% deficit in vitamin D in the winter months. Apart from equilateral regions where people make sufficient vitamin D, people everywhere else (particularly latitudes of 40N and 40S) make little vitamin D. In Edmonton, which is 52N, vitamin D synthesis is impaired from October through to March. This problem is further accentuated by misinformation and inappropriate statements of avoiding sun and overuse of sunscreen by public health services. No doubt sun over exposure is associated strongly with skin cancer but too little vitamin D synthesis also has its own unique health problems.
UVB exposure to the skin epidermis produces vitamin D, which then undergoes hydroxylation (addition of OH or hydroxyl group) first in the liver and then in the kidneys to produce the active hormone 1, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D.
1, 25(OH) D is responsible for not only the bone development and growth in children and maintenance of bone in adults, but also for the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in the elderly.
Vitamin D deficiency in children results in rickets and osteomalacia in adults. Both conditions are characterized by inadequate bone mineralization. Vitamin D is essential for the efficient utilization of dietary calcium. Blood calcium levels are tightly regulated. In a vitamin D deficient state, the amount of calcium absorbed is inadequate to satisfy the body's requirement, this causes the body to release the hormone PTH (parathyroid hormone) which activates the cells (osteoclasts) to breakdown the bone to get the much needed calcium. This results in osteopenia and osteoporosis. Additionally, PTH causes the kidneys to excrete phosphate and the overall net result is a decrease in calcium phosphate, the major mineral required for mineralizing bone. The bone building cells-osteoblasts continue to deposit collagen matrix, resulting in rubbery matrix which expands upon hydration and causes pressure and a low grade unrelenting pain often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia.
Vitamin D is also important in the function of muscles. Muscle weakness, pain and changes in gait have been described in vitamin D insufficiency. This may be the reason that the elderly have more falls and consequently increased fracture rates.
One study found low levels of vitamin D in one in four patients who suffer from chronic pain. Patients with inadequate levels of vitamin D required nearly twice the dose of morphine that was used by patients with normal levels, and the vitamin D deficiency group used morphine for an average of 71.1 months compared to 43.8 months for non-deficient patients. These results led the researchers to hypothesize that while vitamin D is not the principle cause of chronic pain, it may be a contributing factor, and one that can be alleviated by supplementation.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies have been associated with increased hypertension, increased auto-immune diseases and various forms of cancer including breast, prostate and ironically skin. Low Vitamin D is associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), poor immune system, diabetes and the so called syndrome X and seasonally affective disorders.