Know Your Vitamin D

Some of the latest COVID-related research has shown that having a healthy level of vitamin D in the body may be one of the important elements for those who successfully manage the disease. Here are some other important advantages to vitamin D. Also, read about the key link between vitamin D function and the levels of magnesium in the body.

Magnesium Boosts Vitamin D

People who take vitamin D supplements but who have low magnesium levels may not be getting a vitamin D benefit. Without enough magnesium, vitamin D stores in the body remain inactive, and taking vitamin D supplements when magnesium is low can raise circulating calcium and phosphate levels, possibly leading to blood vessel calcification.

When magnesium levels are good, the body needs less vitamin D to reach adequate D levels, and inactive vitamin D stores become active. Also, when magnesium and vitamin D levels are optimal, chances for bone thinning (osteoporosis) and bone fracture are less.

Reference: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association; March, 2018, Published Online

Mothers’ low D promotes overweight kids

Babies whose mothers are low in vitamin D while pregnant are more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) score and excess fat around the waist by age four to six years.

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 370 pregnant women at week 14, and found average levels were 18.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL), with about two thirds of the women below 20 ng/mL, meaning they were deficient. By ages four to six years, children whose mothers’ vitamin D levels were at or below 15 ng/mL had higher BMI scores and an average .34 inches larger waist circumference compared to children of mothers with higher levels of vitamin D.

Discussing the findings, doctors said even though the increase in abdominal fat may not seem like much, when projected across the entire lifespan may increase chances for health issues later in life.

Reference: Pediatric Obesity; 2018, Vol. 13, No. 8, 467-75

Vitamin D and breast cancer

Some earlier studies on vitamin D and breast cancer have had inconsistent results. In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 627 Brazilian women, aged 45 to 75, 209 of whom had breast cancer and 418 similar women who did not.

Women with breast cancer were 43 percent more likely to be obese and 13 percent more likely to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, or to be deficient. Doctors said similar studies found women with higher vitamin D levels were more likely to survive, and that women with breast cancer should try to restore vitamin D levels to the normal range.

Reference: Menopause Journal; 2018, 97492, Published Online

Vitamin D for COPD

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is difficult to breathe fully, with symptoms at times becoming more acute, called exacerbations, which require medication. In this review of three vitamin D studies, covering 469 men and women, aged 40 to 86, with moderate to very severe COPD, doctors administered a placebo or doses of vitamin D from 36,000 IU to 100,000 IU per month.

The primary purpose of the studies was to measure the rate of COPD exacerbations that required treatment with corticosteroids, antibiotics, or both.

Overall, while there were no changes in those who began the study with vitamin D levels greater than 25 nanomole per liter of blood, or 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood, those who began the study with lower levels of vitamin D and who took vitamin D during the study saw rates of exacerbations requiring medication drop by 45 percent.

Reference: BMJ Journals-Thorax; 2018, 212092, Published Online

BONUS INFO:
Spirulina increased oxygen capacity

Spirulina contains over 50 vitamins and minerals including phytonutrients, carotenoids, chlorophyll, and protein. In this study, doctors divided 52 overweight or obese sedentary men into one of four groups: physical exercise only, exercise with spirulina, spirulina without exercise, and neither spirulina nor exercise.

Compared to the no exercise/no spirulina group, the three other groups lost more body fat and increased maximum oxygen capacity. Both spirulina groups lost weight, saw increased time to fatigue during exercise, and had a slower buildup of lactic acid—high levels of which can cause a sensation of muscle burning—indicating more efficient use of oxygen.

Reference: Marine Drugs; 2018, Vol. 16, No. 10, E364

BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before taking a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing or take prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, vitamin D is contraindicated in those who have hypercalcemia.

Article copyright 2020 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.