Vitamin D

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Vitamin D Articles

Link Between Vitamin D and Dementia Risk Confirmed
University of Exeter Medical School ~ August 7, 2014

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted. An international team, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that study participants who were severely Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

71% of Preganant Moms Are Deficient in Vitamin D
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 (Apr); 95 (4): 1749–1757

In this study, it was found that although the intake of vitamin D among the mothers met current recommendations, 71 percent of these same women, and 15 percent of their newborns were deficient during pregnancy. These results suggest that efforts should be made to revise current nutrition recommendations for pregnant women since this could have a permanent effect on the well-being of their children.

Vitamin D Deficiency in a Musculoskeletal Practice
ACANews (January 2012)

Vitamin D deficiency is a silent epidemic in our nation, according to Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, the director of physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Holick states, “It’s certainly the most common nutritional deficiency and likely the most common medical problem in the world, affecting 1.5 to 2 billion people.” [1]

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D
Office of Dietary Supplements • National Institutes of Health

Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. [4–6] Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. [3, 7, 8] Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.


Vitamin D Research

The Role of Vitamin D in the Pathogenesis of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Asian Spine J. 2018 (Oct 16) [Epub] ~ FULL TEXT

Our literature review demonstrated an association be­tween vitamin D status and BMD, menarche, and other hormones. Although lower vitamin D levels are correlated with the Cobb angle, the relationship between vitamin D and AIS may not be casual. Further studies are required to determine whether vitamin D definitely plays a casual role in the etiopathogenesis of AIS and whether vitamin D deficiency is related to the tethering of the nerve roots and postural control dysfunctions observed in some AIS subjects. Longitudinal studies may also be required to ex­amine the effects of fat-restricted diets as well as vitamin D and K2 supplementation on the progression and man­agement of the scoliosis curves.

Vitamin D and the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer Disease
Neurology. 2014 (Sep 2); 83 (10): 920–928 ~ FULL TEXT

This Vitamin D study, published online in Neurology, tracked 1,658 elderly men and women for 5 years. At the start of the study, none of them suffered from dementia. The researchers controlled for many dementia risk factors — including age, education, sex, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, diabetes and hypertension. They found that those individuals with vitamin D levels BELOW 50 (nanomoles per liter) experienced a 53 percent increased risk for all-cause dementia, and a 69 percent increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. People with readings of 25 or less were more than twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Cord Blood 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 and Allergic Disease During Infancy
Pediatrics. 2012 (Nov); 130 (5): e1128–1135

This study investigated vitamin D exposure in umbilical cord blood (CB) and allergy risk in the first year of life. Maternal intake of vitamin D from supplements was significantly linked to CB vitamin D levels whereas dietary vitamin D had no influence. Low CB vitamin D status was observed in infants that developed eczema. Low vitamin D status in pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of eczema in the first year of life.

Vitamin D, Cognition, and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Neurology. 2012 (Sep 25); 79 (13): 1397–1405 ~ FULL TEXT

This systematic review summarized studies that contained measurements of 25(OH)D and related these to measures of cognition or dementia. The meta-analyses showed individuals with AD had lower 25(OH)D concentrations compared to those without AD, and MMSE scores were lower in individuals with lower 25(OH)D concentrations. The studies included various populations, study numbers, study designs, cognitive tests, confounders, statistical tests, vitamin D methods, and groupings.

Vitamin D Status and Pain: Analysis From the Health Survey for England
Among English Adults aged 65 Years and Over

British Journal of Nutrition 2012 (Apr); 107 (7): 1080–1084

The aim of the present analysis is to investigate associations between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) and self-reported current symptoms of pain in a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of 2070 adults aged = 65 years living in the community in England in 2005. Results show that the symptoms of moderate/extreme pain (present in 53 % of the sample) were associated with poor vitamin D status, independent of other covariates. Particular advantages of the present study were the presence of directly measured vitamin D levels and a large and nationally representative sample. Poor vitamin D status is common and an associated risk factor for pain in older people living in northern latitudes.

Vitamin D Is Required for IFN-{gamma}-Mediated
Antimicrobial Activity of Human Macrophages

Sci Transl Med. 2011 (Oct 12); 3 (104): 104–102

These innovative researchers examined the mechanisms that govern the immune system's ability to kill or inhibit the growth of pathogens such as M. tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. The team found that T-cells, which are white blood cells that play a central role in immunity, release a protein called interferon- that triggers communication between cells and directs the infected immune cells to attack the invading tuberculosis bacteria. However, this activation requires sufficient levels of vitamin D to be effective.

Relationship Between Serum Vitamin D, Disease Severity and Airway
Remodeling in Children with Asthma

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 (Sep 15) [Epub ahead of print]

This study evaluated serum vitamin D and lung function in 86 children. 25[OH]D3 levels were significantly lower in children with severe therapy resistant asthma (STRA) compared to those with moderate asthma or controls. Higher 25[OH]D3 levels were associated with improved lung function and the authors suggest that vitamin D supplementation may be useful in pediatric STRA.

A Comparative Effectiveness Study of Bone Density Changes in Women
over 40 Following Three Bone Health Plans Containing Variations
of the Same Novel Plant-sourced Calcium

International J Medical Sciences 2011 (Mar 2); 8 (3): 180–191

A Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) study was conducted to compare changes in bone mineral density by following one of three bone health plans. Researchers tested 414 women over 40 years of age and 176 of the women agreed to participate in the study and to follow one of the three programs. One Plan contained a bone-health supplement with 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and 750 mg of a plant-sourced form of calcium for one year.

Calcium and Vitamin-D Supplementation on Bone Structural Properties
in Peripubertal Female Identical Twins: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Osteoporosis International 2011 (Feb); 22 (2): 489–498

A randomised controlled trial was used in assessing the impact of 6 months of daily calcium and vitamin-D supplementation on trabecular and cortical bone acquisition at distal tibial and radial sites using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). Daily supplementation was associated with increased bone density and bone strength at the distal tibia and radius.

Maternal Vitamin D Status Determines Bone Variables in the Newborn
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 (Apr); 95 (4): 1749–1757 ~ FULL TEXT

In this study, it was found that although the intake of vitamin D among the mothers met current recommendations, 71 percent of these same women, and 15 percent of their newborns were deficient during pregnancy. These results suggest that efforts should be made to revise current nutrition recommendations for pregnant women since this could have a permanent effect on the well-being of their children.

Vitamin D Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2008 (Jun); 13 (2): 153–164 ~ FULL TEXT

Vitamin D is a secosteroid molecule which, in its active 1,25 di-hydroxylated form, has hormone activities in humans. Most cells and tissues in the body have vitamin D receptors (VDRs) that stimulate the nuclear transcription of various genes to alter cellular function or provide a rapid response in cellular membranes. Vitamin D appears to have an effect on numerous disease states and disorders, including chronic musculoskeletal pain, diabetes (types 1 and 2), multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon. According to many researchers there is currently a worldwide vitamin D deficiency in various populations, including infants, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, individuals living in latitudes far from the equator, persons who avoid the sun or ultraviolet radiation in the blue spectrum (UVB), and populations with dark skin pigmentation. Vitamin D in the food supply is limited and most often inadequate to prevent deficiencies. Supplemental vitamin D is likely necessary to avoid deficiency in winter months; however, all forms of vitamin D supplementation may not be equal in efficacy for maintaining optimal blood levels.

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Decreases Incidence of Stress Fractures in
Female Navy Recruits

J Bone Miner Res 2008 (May); 23 (5): 741–749

Stress fractures (SFx) are one of the most common and debilitating overuse injuries seen in military recruits, and they are also problematic for nonmilitary athletic populations. The goal of this randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to determine whether a calcium and vitamin D intervention could reduce the incidence of SFx in female recruits during basic training. We recruited 5201 female Navy recruit volunteers and randomized them to 2000 mg calcium and 800 IU vitamin D/d or placebo. SFx were ascertained when recruits reported to the Great Lakes clinic with symptoms. All SFx were confirmed with radiography or technetium scan according to the usual Navy protocol. Using intention-to-treat analysis by including all enrolled subjects, we found that the calcium and vitamin D group had a 20% lower incidence of SFx than the control group (5.3% versus 6.6%, respectively, p = 0.0026 for Fisher's exact test).

Use of Vitamin D in Clinical Practice
Alternative Medicine Review 2008 (Mar); 13 (1): 6–20 ~ FULL TEXT

The recent discovery--from a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials--that supplemental cholecalciferol (vitamin D) significantly reduces all-cause mortality emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency. Not only are such deficiencies common, and probably the rule, vitamin D deficiency is implicated in most of the diseases of civilization.

Vitamin D and Fracture Reduction:
An Evaluation of the Existing Research

Alternative Medicine Review 2008 (Mar); 13 (1): 21–33 ~ FULL TEXT

The analysis outlined in this article leads to a series of striking conclusions. First, most of the available clinical trials and meta-analyses of vitamin D and fracture underestimate the true fracture reduction potential of vitamin D. Second, achievement of vitamin D serum sufficiency levels (now set in the United States, Europe, and many other places at a minimum of 32 ng per mL) could provide for a 50- to 60-percent fracture reduction. And third, providing for vitamin D sufficiency is the simplest, most life-supporting, and most cost effective means of significantly reducing the incidence of osteoporotic fractures worldwide. Given the urgent need, the Osteoporosis Education Project (OEP) has initiated a call for universal vitamin D repletion as the primary basis for osteoporotic fracture prevention worldwide.

Benefits and Requirements of Vitamin D for Optimal Health: A Review
Alternative Medicine Review 2005; 10 (2): 94–111 ~ FULL TEXT

Vitamin D sufficiency is required for optimal health. The conditions with strong evidence for a protective effect of vitamin D include several bone diseases, muscle weakness, more than a dozen types of internal cancers, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. There is also weaker evidence for several other diseases and conditions. There are good reasons that vitamin D sufficiency be maintained during all stages of life, from fetal development to old age. Adequate calcium intake is also recommended. The current vitamin D requirements in the United States are based on protection against bone diseases. These guidelines are being revised upward in light of new findings, especially for soft-tissue health. The consensus of scientific understanding appears to be that vitamin D deficiency is reached for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels less than 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L), insufficiency in the range from 20-32 ng/mL, and sufficiency in the range from 33-80 ng/mL, with normal in sunny countries 54-90 ng/mL, and excess greater than 100 ng/mL.

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