Vitamin D Part 2 Health Benefits

So what happens if we get safe sun exposure so our skin can make vitamin D or if we take a vitamin D supplement to raise blood levels? Does vitamin D actually provide a host of health benefits?

Of course, the first disease that we may think of is osteoporosis, a disorder helped by adequate vitamin D and calcium intake. But we can’t be sure a person has optimal vitamin D in their blood without following blood tests. Often vitamin D supplements have to be pushed much higher than commonly recommended to reach the level that will effectively counteract osteoporosis.

Many other diseases respond to or are prevented by optimal levels of vitamin D in the tissues. Professor Joan Lappe found that the lower your vitamin D levels, the higher the risk you have for developing cancer. Increasing vitamin D levels from 31 to 38 ng/ml decreased the development of cancer 60% over the next 4 years of this study.

Breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer have been all been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Younger men (ages 40-51) had significantly less risk for prostate cancer when they had higher vitamin D levels. Also, men with prostate cancer reported to Dr. Cannell that taking higher doses of vitamin D lowered their PSA levels (used to measure prostate cancer activity). But it can take a year to do so.

Other scary and painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and inflammatory bowel disease have responded to optimal levels of vitamin D.

Even heart disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and diabetes can improve with vitamin D.

Low levels of vitamin D affect neurologic/ psychiatric diseases including multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and depression.

A Danish study of folks with transplanted kidneys found that most of them had low blood levels of vitamin D because they have to avoid the sun. This study recommended supplementing vitamin D. (

So it becomes important for doctors to measure blood vitamin D levels in renal transplant patients and then monitor their levels after supplementation with vitamin D. (

Now for the fun effects of vitamin D. It can induce weight loss. Everyone likes to hear about that one. But it also improves athletic speed, strength, timing and quickness. Are your ears pricking up athletes?

Then we should all be elated to know that vitamin D protects against infection. Lower respiratory tract infections decrease significantly when taking 2000 IU per day of vitamin D. It even helps folks with COPD (a chronic lung disease usually caused by smoking) through an unknown mechanism and by decreasing the number of lung infections.

And sunlight stimulates the skin to produce peptides that fight germs.

So no wonder we have more infections during the winter when good sunlight is generally not available. I’ve also noticed that children start looking very pale in the winter and often have wondered why. Could deficient vitamin D be the cause?

Should be easy to find out, let’s see what happens when they get adequate vitamin D replenishment. Will they have healthier pink complexions and less colds and flu? Why did we stop following the wisdom of our grandmothers who gave their kids cod liver oil high in vitamin D?

Before you run out and start taking a bunch of vitamin D, read Vitamin D Part 3 Supplements where we review suggested doses of vitamin D supplements, the best form of vitamin D and adverse effects of high levels of vitamin D.

If you missed Vitamin D Part 1 it’s available here.

Wow, I’m so impressed with what vitamin D can do for me; I’m going out to take a sun bath right now.


Dr. Jo

P.S. To learn more about vitamin D review the Vitamin D Council’s web site


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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