A NEW study has revealed that adding vitamin D to usual asthma treatments can halve the risk of developing a severe attack – but the vital substance also has has a range of other health benefits.
Rob Hobson Healthspan Head of Nutrition said: “This research further highlights the potential health benefits of vitamin D.
“This nutrient is difficult to obtain from food alone and our greatest source is the sun – but this is obviously diminishing as we now come into winter.
“Vitamin D is actually not as easy as people think to get from diet alone and a little can be gleaned from oily fish, eggs, mushrooms and fortified foods like breakfast cereals and fat spreads.”
In July, Public Health England said everyone should take a daily Vitamin D supplement through autumn and winter to prevent osteoporosis and problems with bones or rickets.
Vitamin D has shown ‘amazing’ results for cardiac health
A daily dose of vitamin D3 can dramatically improve heart function in people with chronic heart failure, British researchers have found.
Dr Klaus Witte, who led the five-year research project at the University of Leeds said: “The improvements seen in patients taking the vitamin were ‘nothing short of amazing’, and called his team’s findings a ‘significant breakthrough’.
Vitamin D may protect against breast cancer
A large analysis of data from 14 studies, involving over 25,000 women, found that those with the highest vitamin D levels were less likely to develop breast cancer.
Overall, every 10 ng/mL increment in vitamin D concentration was associated with a significant 3.2 per cent reduction in breast cancer risk.
Vitamin D may protect against type 2 diabetes
Data from 21 studies, involving over 76,000 people, showed that those with the highest vitamin D levels were 62 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest levels.
In this case, each 10 nmol/L increment in vitamin D levels was associated with a 4 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The most likely explanation is that vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity to better regulate glucose control.
Vitamin D may protect against depression
A total of 14 studies, involving almost 31,500 people, found that those with the lowest vitamin D levels were up to twice as likely to develop depression as those with highest levels.
Vitamin D is crucial to our immune system
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defences and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin, the killer cells of the immune system – T cells – will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.
Vitamin D is vital for bone health
Researchers have found that people with low vitamin D intakes are three to four times more likely to experience progressive osteoarthritis than those with high intakes, and that as many as 85 per cent of people requiring total hip or knee replacement are deficient in vitamin D.
This compares with a background level of around 15 per cent of men and women of similar age having a low vitamin D intake.
Vitamin D may protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
Eleven studies involving almost 4,000 people, found that blood vitamin D levels were a third lower in people who had Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease when compared with healthy controls.
This strongly suggests a protective effect for vitamin D, although differences in diet and sun exposure will also play a role.
Vitamin D may protect against stroke
Having a low level of vitamin D appears to increase the risk of ischemic stroke due to poor blood flow to parts of the brain.
Data from 10 studies, involving over 58,000 people confirmed a stepwise increase in the risk of stroke with a stepwise decrease in vitamin D blood levels.
Those with the highest levels were up to 82 per cent less likely to have a haemorrhagic stroke than those with low levels.
Higher vitamin D levels may help you live longer
Studies carried out in eight countries from Europe and the US, involving over 26,000 men and women aged 50 plus found that those with the highest vitamin D levels were 57 percent less likely to die from any medical cause during the study durations than those with the lowest levels.
Despite vitamin D3 levels varying with country, sex, and season, the association between those with the lowest and those with the highest vitamin D level within each country was remarkably consistent.
Rob Hobson added: “Between now and October, get out and soak up some sun whenever the weather permits. Try heading out between 12pm and 1pm on your lunch break where possible.”
To ensure adequate intake of Vitamin D during the winter months people are urged to consider taking a supplement such as Healthspan Super Strength Vitamin D3.