Vitamin D: Seven Diseases Treated by This Amazing Wonder 'Drug'
June 27, 2006
Vitamin D, the nutrient now dubbed "the sunshine vitamin," is gaining recognition among scientists for its major health benefits.
Vitamin D is different from other vitamins in that it influences the entire body -- receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from the brain to the bones.
Vitamin D is also unique in that it's the only vitamin that humans make on their own -- after exposure to ultraviolet B light from the sun. It takes a fair-skinned person only 15 minutes or less to generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D on a sunny day.
All of vitamin D's health effects are not yet known, but it's clear that the vitamin is a "blockbuster" nutrient capable of:
- Strengthening bones and the immune system
- Slowing down cancer
- Preventing type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia
- Providing pain relief
Concerns of Vitamin D Deficiency
Many scientists believe vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic worldwide. In the <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /--><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region>, experts are calling for revisions to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) vitamin D recommendations, which are outdated.
The FDA recommends 200 IU of vitamin D daily for those under 51 and 400 IU for those 51 to 70. However, researchers say the recommendations should be around 1,000 IU daily for all ages and perhaps as high as 2,000 IU.