(NaturalHealth365) Getting enough vitamin D is crucial to numerous health functions, while low vitamin D stresses the immune system and raises the risk of illness. Research has shown that vitamin D supplementation brings a range of vitamin D benefits including disease prevention.
Studies have confirmed that major illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis can be prevented by raising vitamin D levels, while low vitamin D is one of the precursors to these illnesses. Adequate vitamin D helps to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression.
Low vitamin D puts your health at risk
Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis affect the nervous system and are neurodegenerative, causing the body to attack its own cells in an autoimmune response. With MS, crucial myelin in the body is destroyed, damaging nerves and rendering them unable to trigger electrical signals in the body.
Adequate vitamin D blood levels help to ensure protection and support of these crucial systems to prevent the onset and progression of these diseases.
A study published in JAMA Neurology found that over 18 months, vitamin D improved numerous MS symptoms and markers significantly. Study participants with the highest levels of vitamin D (over 40 ng/mL) had the least number of additional lesions. MS progression was also delayed. A 2015 study corroborated these positive vitamin D benefits for MS patients.
Vitamin D is crucial to preventing Alzheimer’s disease
Studies show vitamin D also helps persons with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well due to nervous system support. Alzheimer’s disease is reaching epidemic levels among the elderly, with few effective interventions. However, vitamin D is showing promise.
Studies have shown those with very low vitamin D levels – less than 10 ng/mL – have a 122 percent higher risk for Alzheimer’s. Those with under 20 ng/mL were 51 percent more likely to be afflicted. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the entire spectrum of diseases related to Alzheimer’s, dementia and overall cognitive functioning.
A 2014 paper in the journal Neurological Sciences linked low levels of vitamin D to higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. A 2015 paper summarizing a meta-analysis of thousands of Parkinson’s patients showed low vitamin D levels increased Parkinson’s risk two-fold. However, vitamin D supplementation decreases Parkinson’s risk by 38 percent.
A minimum of 5,000 IU per day may be required for full vitamin D benefits
Vitamin D has been shown effective in preventing and slowing the progression of a number of debilitating neurodegenerative diseases, including MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. It’s also crucial to immune system functioning. Keeping blood levels of vitamin D at 50 to 80 ng/mL is ideal for optimal health.
One of the best sources for vitamin D is the sun. But with most people – living in the Northern hemisphere – the rays of the sun are not direct enough to produce the vitamin D needed for optimal health. To make matters more difficult, with regard to ‘conventional wisdom,’ the recommended daily amount of vitamin D of 600 to 800 IU is not nearly enough.
Simply put, in terms of the ‘right’ amount of vitamin D supplementation, 5,000 – 8,000 IU may be required to maintain (or achieve) optimal levels depending upon your current state of health. It’s also best to take vitamin D along with vitamin K (and some fats) to aid its absorption.
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