ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic

Updated on December 31, 2016

Vitamin D3 Deficiency Epidemic Can Be Deadly

Amazingly, tens of millions of people are at risk of serious and deadly diseases from vitamin D3 deficiency, leading researchers to call this deficiency an epidemic. Neither vitamin nor hormone, Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that is synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight. However, most of us get too little direct, unfiltered sunlight for this to happen. Another problem is believing there is enough Vitamin D in milk. Not even close! In northern latitudes the best exposure is early and mid summer when the sun's rays are directly overhead, on bare skin, with no sunscreen and for at least 40 minutes every day. Color and age of skin also make a difference in synthesis.

Besides promoting healthy bones and teeth, scientists have recently discovered that vitamin D controls the immune system. Two new studies through the University of California, San Diego, report that higher levels of D are needed to cut breast and colon cancer risk. More than twenty-five years of research suggests that correcting vitamin D deficiency can avert colon cancer, saving about 56,000 lives a year. A study of 1,954 men found that those with the lowest vitamin D intake had more than double the risk of colon cancer compared to men with the highest intake. Interestingly, northern latitudes also have a greater risk of multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, certain other cancers and diabetes. And more studies continue to link higher levels of D3 to prevent cancer. A level of 80 to 100 is preferred with doctors and naturopaths who understand the link between higher levels of D3 and the immune system. They know that a level of 100 is not toxic, as some believe.

Vitamin D's strong relationship to calcium in the prevention of cancer continues. A large trial in 2003 demonstrated this with 803 people with previous colorectal adenomas, which can lead to cancer if they recur. Some were given calcium and some placebo, to measure recurrence. People with calcium supplementation reduced the risk of recurrence by 20 percent in those with normal D levels.

Prevention and Cure

Research also shows that vitamin D prevents breast cell proliferation and even helps differentiation of cells into normal healthy tissue. Data strongly connects low vitamin D levels in 16 different types of cancers. Evidence shows that breast and other cancers are lower in populations with more sun exposure and/or a higher intake of vitamin D supplementation.  People who live closer to the equator also have fewer flu and colds. Many conventional prostate cancer drugs impair androgen function (male hormones), so the connection between prostate cancer and vitamin D is great news.

Research on vitamin D also shows promise regarding heart failure, the leading cause of death in industrialized nations. Vitamin D, in combination with Co-enzyme Q10, B vitamins and other antioxidants, has shown to reduce harmful inflammation, which can cause heart failure, heart attacks and atherosclerosis. C-reactive protein measures chronic inflammation and is a better indicator of heart attack, heart failure and stroke than cholesterol readings.

Mental Ilness and SAD

 A 2004 study from Finland showed that the risk of developing schizophrenia in adult men was greatly increased in those who had never had Vitamin D supplementation as infants, compared to those who had at least some supplementation. Even depression is shown to be helped with Vitamin D supplementation. D deficiency is also common in dependency and addiction.

Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, a feeling of depression associated with lack of sunlight. A common theme during fall and winter is, " I get up when it's dark and get out of work when it's dark." These short days really deprive us of the sunlight we need. Just 2000 IU (International Unites) per day can make a difference in how you feel during this time, though we recommend 5000 IU for most others. During studies on SAD some people received just a single dose of 100,00 IU of D and some received one month of light therapy. None of the people who had light therapy showed improvement. All of those who had vitamin D supplementation showed major improvement in their depression scores.

Flu and H1N1

More than ever before we know that vitamin D is imperative for a strong immune system. Common theory among scientists now is that vitamin D levels diminish over the winter months, which increases susceptibility to influenza. In another study patients who were supplemented with vitamin D were completely protected against the infection, even when living with people who had the flu. Influenza season can be more dangerous for small children and the elderly. There is a lot of fear of the H1N1, or swine flu. It is not the flu itself that kills people but from the upper respiratory effects from the illness. If our immune system is strong, it will fight illness. Yearly immunizations target a only a particular flu, whereas a strong, healthy immune system protects us from any foreign invader. A common belief is that getting colds and flu during the winter months is because people are indoors more and spread illnesses through close contact.  However, in addition to preventing autoimmune diseases and cancer, scientists are now finding that those who get the flu are deficient in vitamin D.

Anyone born after the 70's, the last time H1N1, broke out, may not have immunity to the swine flu and may benefit from the vaccine, especially those with upper respiratory diseases. However, a healthy D level is particularly important for this group and they should be tested. 

Reduce Stress; Meditate Daily

What You Can Do To Strengthen Your Immunity

Bad stress versus positive stress. Good stress might be a new home, graduation, or paying for the graduation party, job promotion, etc. Bad stress is the "perception of no control." Too much stress compromises the immune system, as will poor diet, obesity, sleep disturbances and other excess stresses in life. Exercise and meditation are only two of many ways to reduce negative effects of stress.

The Institute of Medicine recommends a simple blood test. Severely deficient people need a temporary therapeutic dose. For others, a minimum of 5000 IU per day or 50,000 IU of D3 is good, depending on where you live. The RDA recommended daily allowance on all supplements is ridiculously low and based on poor science. What you get in a multi-vitamin is far too little to do much of anything.

Save your life with vitamin D


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)