Vitamin D is needed to Maintain Good Health

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is an essential compound needed for good health. Its active form, 1,25(OH)2D, is generated within the body in kidneys; is a “hormone”.  Foods contain little vitamin D, so humans are expected to generate more than 80% of daily vitamin D requirement through the skin exposure to ultraviolet-B rays in the sunlight. However, excessive exposure to sunlight could cause DNA and skin damage and thus, initiate certain types of skin cancers in genetically susceptible people.  Vitamin D deficiency is common and affects more than 3.0 billion people in the world. 

The minimum concentration of vitamin D concentration in blood needed to maintain good health in humans is estimated to be 75 pmol/L.  Scientific data suggest that keeping blood serum 25(OH)D concentrationabove 30 ng/mL on a long-term basis, significantly reduces morbiditiesand preventable deaths of millions of people. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of falls and fractures and also obesity, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders, pregnancy complications, cancers,inflammation, cardiovascular disorders, and preventable deaths. 

When diseases are prevented, there is less need for medicine, procedures, and expensive hospitalizations. It also reduces the need for expanding including mergers and acquisitions of hospitals, and improves the health of the population, their productivity and happiness. Thus, it is a no-brainer that preventative approaches to illnesses significantly reduce healthcare costs. 

Most adults need a daily maintenance dose of between 1,000 and 2,000 IU of Vitamin D or direct sun exposure of 30 minutes/day of sunlight. Oral intakes up to 10,000 IU/day has been reported to be safe in adults. 

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Dr. Wenjay Sung

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