Vitamin D deficiency warning for people with poor liver function

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(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that over 1 billion people – worldwide – have a vitamin D deficiency?!  This is a very serious health issue that’s been called the “ignored epidemic.”  But, what’s most disturbing is the negative effect it has on liver function.

Interestingly, research also shows that African-Americans are more likely to develop liver health problems, specifically a chronic liver disease known as cirrhosis. Is it possible that there’s a link between this liver health issue and vitamin D?

New research suggests yes – and further emphasizes why vitamin D benefits are so potent.

Vitamin D deficiency a health problem for many – and for people with liver disease, the effect can be fatal

Decades of research show us that chronically low levels of vitamin D increases the risk of premature death from cancer, bone fractures, heart disease, and more. Now, a new meta-analysis published in Clinical Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology shows that a severe vitamin D deficiency can also dramatically increase of death among people with cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is chronic health condition associated with liver scarring and dysfunction, which can be caused by everything from heavy metal toxicity to excessive alcohol consumption. This meta-analysis systematically assessed data from 8 studies that included 1,339 people diagnosed with the condition.

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The pooled research indicated that having blood serum levels of vitamin D less than 10 nanograms/milliliter (which the researchers classified as a severe deficiency) was associated with an almost 80 percent increased risk of death at subsequent follow-ups, compared to people with higher vitamin D levels.

Between 20 ng/mL and 50 ng/mL is considered “normal.”

We know that vitamin D benefits your entire body, not just your liver. But it’s evident from this data that being low in this nutrient may lead to serious consequences if you or a loved one is living with a liver health problem…so it may be time to talk to your doctor about your nutrition, or start adopting lifestyle habits that will help your body get (and make) more vitamin D.

Here are 5 warning signs that you’re low in vitamin D

The only way to know for sure if you’re have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency (wherein your levels are not clinically deficient but still suboptimal) is to have your serum blood levels tested, typically with your primary care doctor or integrative physician.

Here are 5 things that put you at greater risk of a vitamin D deficiency:

  1. You live above 30 degrees latitude (in the United States, that’s about anywhere north of San Diego, CA).  Why?  Because the direct angle of the sun matters when it comes to producing vitamin D, as well as how often you actually get your skin exposed to direct sunlight.
  2. You have certain physical and/or behavioral characteristics, including obesity, darker skin, a habit of staying indoors or never getting sunscreen-free sun exposure.  People who are elderly or don’t eat wild salmon or raw dairy products are also at an increased risk.  (although food is not a great source of vitamin D, especially if you are deficient)
  3. You get sick frequently, and cuts and wounds heal slowly. This is observed due to the way vitamin D normally promotes and enhances immune function and your body’s ability to fight off infections.
  4. You feel depressed. Vitamin D deficiency has been scientifically linked to depression, especially among older adults.
  5. You experience frequent and sometimes unexplained fatigue, muscle cramps, and pain.

To combat the potential effects of a nutrient deficiency and enjoy all the vitamin D benefits, be smart about your diet and supplement routine – check out some of our previous blog posts for more information.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
Harvard.health.edu
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
Sciencedirect.com
Wiley.com
Healthline.com
Lifeextension.com
Photo by euthman