Just "D" Facts about Vitamin D

Benefits of Moderate UV Sunshine Exposure

Vitamin D Important for Brain Function

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Not only does vitamin D help build healthy bones, it may also help build strong minds.

In a new review of vitamin D researchers from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute find there is plenty of evidence to suggest vitamin D is important in brain development and function. And they say people at high risk of not getting enough of it need supplements.

Scientists have recently become aware that vitamin D is good for more than just bones – evidence shows it protects against autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes as well as some forms of cancer, especially colorectal and breast.

This review shows vitamin D can affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning, memory, motor control, and perhaps maternal and social behavior.

Vitamin D can only be found in a few foods such as fatty fish. It is also added to fortified milk. But we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. People with light skin absorb vitamin D six times more efficiently than those with dark skin which is why dark-skinned people in the Northern United States or European latitudes with little sun exposure are at risk for rickets, bone fractures, and possibly other diseases.

Even though more research needs to be done on the health risks of not getting enough vitamin D the authors recommend people with exceptionally low levels of it – especially nursing infants, the elderly, and African Americans – take supplements.

SOURCE: FASB Journal published online Dec. 13, 2007

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