The past decade has seen enormous advancements with our understanding about Vitamin D and how it affects our health. Recent International proposals to increase the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin D recognise the important contribution of Vitamin D in reducing diseases such as childhood rickets, adult osteomalacia, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression, obesity, muscle weakness, and even allergies.
We obtain our other vitamins from our food; and while it’s possible to get vitamin D from oily fish and some other foods, most of the vitamin D in our bodies comes from a chemical process that takes place underneath our skin with penetration of the sun’s UVB rays. In fact, this method of production leads to about ninety percent of our total Vitamin D yield.
Ironically, despite Australia being ‘the sunburned country’, Australia is experiencing a mass Vitamin D insufficiency. Research published in 2007 showed that the majority of the Australian population were Vitamin D deficient, and my clinical experience certainly reflects this. Reports from Westmead Children’s Hospital also back that Vitamin D deficiency is reaching record levels in our infants and children – which is of particular concern in terms of their rapid bone growth and future health potential.
Originally thought to only influence bone health, the best available research now shows that low vitamin D levels are linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, several cancers, depression and rheumatoid arthritis, poor immune defencecs, among other things. Vitamin D can also help to activate your immune system in acute infections. Read Here
And Japanese research from last year showed that Vitamin D supplementation in school aged children through winter, reduced risk of Viral Flu infection by half and helped to reduce asthma attacks. Read Here
Vitamin D deficiency is caused, in large part, by modern society’s indoor lifestyle.