Good post Sue. Thank you.
Long recognized for aiding calcium absorption and thus promoting bone health, adequate vitamin D intake helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In 2006, studies published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of various other diseases and alleviate the symptoms of certain medical conditions as well.
"These studies add to a growing body of research that suggests adequate vitamin D levels convey a broad spectrum of health benefits, from reducing the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers to playing a preventative role in multiple sclerosis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis," said Lori Hoolihan, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition research specialist at Dairy Council of California. "Emerging research also suggests that vitamin D may be involved in optimal functioning of the immune system, improving mental activities and reducing the risk of periodontal disease."
Dairy Council of California is urging health professionals to get up to speed on this research, because health conditions linked to vitamin D insufficiency are on the rise. Rickets, a childhood softening of the bones that leads to fractures and deformity, has resurfaced in the United States as a public health concern. Rickets reached almost epidemic levels in the early 1900s before it was virtually eradicated by fortifying milk with vitamin D. A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that rickets is now back on the radar among health professionals, with 166 cases of rickets identified in children between 1986 and 2003. Additionally, researchers suspect many children and adolescents have borderline or undetected deficiencies, which could contribute to the development of osteomalacia -- or weak bones -- in addition to other health conditions later in life.