Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for our health, and is also one of the most common vitamins people are deficient in. Anyone with a chronic disease should have their vitamin D levels checked by their doctor and take supplements if they are found to be deficient.
According to prevention.com, low levels of vitamin D can contribute to many different health conditions and slow down the healing process for others.
Breast cancer patients who have normal levels of vitamin D are twice as likely as those with low levels to survive the disease. There is also a correlation between other cancer patients’ survival rate and their vitamin D levels.
Aggressive Prostate Cancer
A study found that men with low levels of vitamin D were four to five times more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer than those with healthy levels.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to an elevated risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The risk of Alzheimer’s increases the lower your vitamin D levels are. As you age, skin becomes less adept at turning the sun’s rays into vitamin D so you’re more likely to have a deficiency, increasing your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life.
People with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to develop depression. Researchers believe that areas in the brain responsible for controlling mood have receptors for vitamin D, so not receiving enough vitamin D may lead to these areas under-performing.
People with low levels of the vitamin are 32 percent more likely to develop heart disease and it’s 20 percent more likely that the disease will affect multiple vessels in the heart. Researchers say that healthy levels of vitamin D may help reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the risk of developing heart disease.
Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease
It’s thought that a lack of vitamin D could increase the risk of developing neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis and may also be responsible for speeding up the progression of these conditions.
Pneumonia has also been linked with vitamin D deficiency and while healthy people can fight off the disease, it could be extremely life-threatening for anyone who has a chronic lung disease such as pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis or COPD.
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