Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Author:
    Betty Kovacs, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Quick GuideNutritional Health Pictures Slideshow: Amazing Vitamin D, Nutrition's Newest Star

Nutritional Health Pictures Slideshow: Amazing Vitamin D, Nutrition's Newest Star

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

Multiple sclerosis: Evidence continues to accumulate supporting the role of vitamin D and the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). It begins with the vitamin D levels in pregnant women. Numerous studies have linked the occurrence of MS with birth month. There is a high prevalence of MS in high-latitude areas. The lack of sunlight exposure appears to be a significant predictor, and research is ongoing in this area.

Tuberculosis: Individuals with tuberculosis (TB) have been shown to have lower vitamin D levels than healthy people. Supplementation has shown to improve symptoms in these individuals. Further studies are needed to determine the cause and appropriate intervention.

Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes: Research has shown that those with blood vitamin D levels over 25 ng/mL had a 43% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those with levels under 14 ng/mL.

Decreasing inflammation: Many of the health benefits associated with vitamin D may come from its role in decreasing inflammation. Research has shown a decrease in levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, with increased levels of vitamin D to just below 21 ng/mL.

Reducing risk of allergies in children and adolescents: A nationwide study of over 6,000 individuals showed that allergic sensitization was more common in those with vitamin D levels under 15 ng/mL versus those with levels 30 ng/mL or more.

Sleep apnea: There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea brought on by inflammatory rhinitis and/or tonsillar hypertrophy. More research needs to be done to confirm this.

Decreasing dental cavities: A review of 24 controlled clinical trials encompassing 2,827 children found a 47% reduced risk of cavities with vitamin D supplementation.

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 ED. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 6/9/2016
References
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