If you had a major health risk you could mitigate with an inexpensive yet very effective, safe, easy treatment, would you do it – or would you think it’s too good to be true? A new analysis of multiple studies on vitamin D has proven its effectiveness at preventing broken bones in elderly individuals. Yet, perhaps because there are no lobbyists for vitamin D or because of the disinformation out there, considering vitamin D usage for people with a high risk of fracture is a low priority in the medical world.
Why vitamin D is so important
Essential to good health, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorous. It protects against muscle weakness, regulates heartbeat, and is necessary for normal blood clotting and thyroid function. It enhances immunity, and is essential in preventing many types of cancer, osteoporosis, and hypocalcemia. In fact, more than 2,000 genes (approx. 1/6 of the human genome) are regulated by vitamin D, affecting the proliferation and death of cells. Vitamin D helps boost mood and brain function. It helps prevent chronic and degenerative diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, protects your heart, strengthen bones, prevents premature aging, helps guard against influenza, reduces severity of asthma, promotes hair growth, etc. Vitamin D is essential for mobility and bodily functions.
Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with increased risk of hip fractures. You need vitamin D to be able to utilize calcium you get from food. Around 300,000 people are hospitalized with hip fractures each year, and many die from complications after surgery, and many more survive but with severely diminished mobility and are therefore unable to live independently.
Why the elderly are at higher risk
It is estimated that three quarters of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency in vitamin D can manifest in many ways. According to Bach, problems from deficiency may include: heart disease, birth defects, depression, hypertension, stroke, dementia, fibromyalgia, impaired bone mineralization, skin, breast, prostate and other cancers, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, eye problem, problems with pregnancy, and other chronic disease.
At closer to 95 percent deficient, the elderly are not only more likely to be deficient but also have a higher need for the benefits of vitamin D. They are also more likely to be on multiple prescriptions, such as cholesterol reducing drugs, that interfere with absorption, cause side-effects that vitamin D could help mitigate, and are more likely to spend their time indoors, not getting sun exposure. The most active form of vitamin D is the most natural kind, D3. It is synthesized in the skin in response to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. There is a cholesterol compound in the skin that is a precursor of vitamin D. The vitamin D we get from food and supplements is not fully active until it goes through the liver and kidneys, where it is converted, then it circulates through the blood like a hormone. It is not possible for most people to consume enough vitamin D thorough diet alone.
Natural remedies of all kinds are often thought to be too good to be true, but do some research on your own and you’ll find that most of them have been around far longer than what the medical establishment most often recommends. If they didn’t work, they wouldn’t have been used for thousands of years.
Supplementing your health with high quality, food-based vitamins is an inexpensive and effective insurance policy. As long as it is made from food, it can’t hurt you and won’t interfere with your medications. Don’t buy vitamins from the grocery store or other big box chains. Go to a health food store where you can talk to a qualified, knowledgeable person who will help you find some good choices. Then, go home and research them some more – call the company, ask what source they use to make their vitamins. It’s worth this initial legwork to be sure you are spending your money wisely, and getting what you intend. Most Americans can’t go wrong adding a vitamin D supplement to their health practices.
Sources for this article include:
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. p. 21.