Vitamin D Deficiency

What does vitamin D do for your health? What are symptoms and signs of vitamin D deficiency? (Continued)

  • Possibly helping with erectile dysfunction (ED): It is not clear if increasing your serum vitamin D levels can help with ED. Many men diagnosed with ED are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD) within a few years. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with CVD, so if you are deficient in vitamin D, some researchers believe that treating this could reduce your risk of CVD and then possibly ED.
  • Regulating cholesterol levels in the blood: It has been shown that without adequate sun exposure, vitamin D precursors turn to cholesterol instead of vitamin D.
  • Decreasing mortality rate from certain cancers: In 1941, U.S. pathologist Frank Apperly published geographic data that demonstrated for the first time an inverse correlation between levels of UV radiation in North America and mortality rates from cancers. This means that more exposure to UV radiation (sun) leads to fewer deaths from cancers. In the meantime, since this was published, it has been confirmed that there is an association between increased risk of dying of various internal malignancies (for example, colon, breast, ovarian, melanoma, and prostate cancer) and decreasing latitude toward the equator.
  • Decreasing risk of osteoarthritis: Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Possibly helpful in prevention of fractures, improving balance, and reducing the risk of falls in the elderly: There has been some evidence suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may have these benefits, but more research needs to be done to confirm it.
  • More research is needed to determine the possible benefit of vitamin D as therapy for multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, influenza, and viral upper respiratory tract illnesses.
Reviewed on 7/14/2014

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