Vitamin D is essential for bone health

Vitamin D is necessary for most people’s bone health and to protect against osteoporosis .

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are essential to building stronger, denser bones early in life and to keeping bones strong and healthy later in life. Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for bone health.

Multivitamin for Men ReviewVitamin D plays a critical role in regulating bone health. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the intestine as well as the activity of bone building cells. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium in the blood and strengthen the skeleton. Your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Children need vitamin D to build strong bones, and adults need it to keep bones strong and healthy. When people do not get enough vitamin D, they can lose bone, have lower bone density, and are more likely to break bones when they are older.

About 10 million Americans already have osteoporosis, and 34 million are at risk. Contrary to popular belief however, low intake of calcium is not the primary cause of osteoporosis. While Americans have the highest calcium intake in the world, we also have one of the highest hip fracture rates in the world. The standard American diet causes much of the consumed calcium to be lost in the urine. Excess salt, caffeine, sugar, and animal products leach calcium out of bones and promote urinary calcium loss.

In contrast, vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts, and seeds are rich sources of calcium and other important minerals, and do not promote the urinary excretion of calcium. A three cup serving of raw, chopped greens – like kale, bok choy, or collards – provides the same amount of calcium (or more) as one cup of whole milk. Only 32% of the calcium in the cup of cow’s milk can be absorbed by the human body compared to about 50% for many green vegetables.

Medical studies show vitamin D is more effective than calcium for treating osteoporosis. The main source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is formed by the action of sunlight (UV light) on the skin. A deficiency of vitamin D can contribute to osteoporosis because without it, calcium will not be fully absorbed by your body. The most natural way to obtain vitamin D is through sun exposure, but because of indoor jobs, our climate, and skin cancer risk it is virtually impossible to achieve optimal levels of Vitamin D from sunshine alone. Vitamin D supplementation is necessary for most people.

Vitamin D is found in small quantities in a few foods (eg fatty fish -salmon, herring, mackerel, liver, eggs, fortified foods). However adequate vitamin D is unlikely to be achieved through diet alone.

People who do not get enough vitamin D should consider taking a supplement to keep your bones health. Multivitamin for men is combined with vitamin D, calcium and all essential vitamins and minerals you need.

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Vitamin D may decrease Parkinson’s disease risk

Low Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Disease, Researchers Say.

Multivitamin for Men ReviewThe sunshine vitamin appears to shine a favorable light on the risk of Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study. High blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the chances of developing this neurological disease.

The finding builds on previous research linking low vitamin D levels to Parkinson’s, and could mean that getting more sunlight and assuring an adequate dietary intake of vitamin D may help some people ward off the neurological disorder.

Researchers at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki evaluated data from 3,173 men and women aged 50 to 79, and followed up over 29 years. During that time they documented 50 cases of Parkinson’s disease. Individuals who had the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s when compared to study participants who had the highest levels.

The average serum vitamin D levels in the entire studied population were about 50% of what is considered optimal. Having low vitamin D levels may thus increase an individual’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease occurs when cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra malfunction and die. These cells produce dopamine, a chemical that sends signals to the areas of the brain that control movement and coordination. As the dopamine-producing cells die and the level of the chemical declines, the affected individual becomes unable to control his or her movements in a normal way.

Previous research has indicated that the substantia nigra contains high levels of vitamin D receptors, which suggests this vitamin has an important role in maintaining the normal function of the cells in this area of the brain.

The study’s authors point out that although they do not know the exact role vitamin D plays in Parkinson’s disease, the vitamin’s antioxidant properties could be a factor, as well as its ability to regulate calcium levels, detoxify the body, enhance conduction of electricity through nerve cells, or modulate the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with rheumatoid arthritis, preeclampsia, bone and heart health, asthma, and other health risks.

In an editorial that accompanied the study, which was published in the Archives of Neurology, Marian Leslie Evatt, MD, MS, from Emory University in Atlanta, said the study’s results were “the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.” Further research is necessary to identify the exact role and other factors in the relationship between vitamin D and Parkinson’s.

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Low levels of vitamin D are associated with cognitive decline

New studies show low vitamin D levels may link to cognitive decline.

Think of the health benefits of vitamin D, and you’ll probably think of bone strength. In recent years, however, the evidence that vitamin D affects more than just bones has mounted; cardiovascular disease, cancers, stroke, depression, and metabolic disorders have all been linked to low vitamin D levels. A new review adds cognitive decline and dementia to that list.

Multivitamin for Men ReviewVitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a variety of clinical disorders and chronic diseases, including impaired balance, decreased muscle strength, mood and cognitive dysfunction, autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes (types 1 and 2), and certain forms of cancer.

This goes way beyond preventing rickets! It even goes beyond vitamin D as an immune stimulator.

The authors of a new review assessed 37 studies that evaluated vitamin D concentrations and cognitive function. The studies included various populations and age groups, but most included both men and women over 65 years of age. As part of the review, the authors conducted two meta-analyses: one to compare the mean vitamin D concentration between participants with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and controls and one to compare mean mental status scores between participants with low vitamin D levels and those with higher levels.

The authors report that participants with Alzheimer’s had significantly lower vitamin D concentrations and that mental status scores were higher among participants with higher vitamin D levels. Many factors affect vitamin D concentrations: skin pigmentation, age, genetics, sun exposure, geographic location of the participants, and time of year. Also, cognitive decline and aging may affect vitamin D levels through dietary and behavioral changes. In the brain, vitamin D has protective functions by regulating genes, directing nerve growth factor, controlling neurotransmitters, and clearing amyloid plaques (a hallmark of Alzheimer’s).

A British study, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Honolulu (July 2010) showed that older men and women with low levels of vitamin D are nearly four times as likely to have problems with their memory, attention and logic.

A related report, also published July 2010 by some of the same researchers, in the Archives of Internal Medicine had similar results. It reported that older men and women with low levels of vitamin D don’t do as well on tests of reasoning, learning and memory as those with higher levels.

Participants completed interviews about their health history, had medical examinations, provided blood samples and took tests measuring thinking skills at the start of the study and again after three years and six years.

The analysis reveals that compared with participants who had sufficient vitamin D levels, those who were severely deficient experienced a substantial decline in thinking and in executive function—the ability to organize thoughts, make decisions and plan ahead.

Currently, in the United States, 15 mcg of vitamin D daily is recommended for most children and adults. Vitamin D is available in few foods and supplements are available. A fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D is relatively safe, even at high doses, but muscle pain and gastrointestinal upset can result from supplementation. There is no conclusive amount of vitamin D that protects brain heath.

The review, published in the journal Neurology, does not provide new information regarding brain health and vitamin D, but it does provide a comprehensive collection of evidence that vitamin D is, at the very least, associated with a healthy brain. Interventional studies are needed to determine just how much vitamin D guarantees a better brain.

And in case you are wondering: the authors say that the link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline persisted even after adjusting for diet, health and other factors!

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Get enough vitamin D to raise testosterone level

New studies on vitamin D show that it promotes increased testosterone level.

Multivitamin for Men ReviewRaise your vitamin D level and you will raise your testosterone level. Higher testosterone means better body composition, more muscle mass and better overall health. A groundbreaking new study shows that raising your vitamin D level will increase free testosterone, and it supports one of the very first studies to identify the relationship between vitamin D and testosterone.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, increasing levels of vitamin D in the body may help increase testosterone levels of men and their sexual desire. The work was published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.

“Men who ensure that their body is adequately supplied with vitamin D are doing well for their testosterone level and their own libido, among other things,” said Ad Brand Forum Sunlight Research, based in the Netherlands ”

The researchers tested the levels of vitamin D and testosterone in 2,299 men over several months. They found that as levels of vitamin D increase, testosterone levels peaked in the summer and fell during the winter. They also found that men who had at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D in each milliliter of blood had higher levels of circulating testosterone.

A small randomized controlled trial suggested that vitamin D might increase the production of testosterone in men.

First, let’s look at a study that tested a large population of men aged 40 to 79 for vitamin D and testosterone levels. The men who were deficient in vitamin D (below 20 ng/ml) had much lower free testosterone and higher estrogen. Along with poor reproductive health, the men who were deficient in vitamin D also had a higher body mass index, higher rates of cardiovascular disease, and greater chance of depression.

The men with adequate vitamin D (above 30 ng/ml) had higher testosterone levels, the leanest body composition, a greater percentage of lean mass, and better overall health. Researchers suggest vitamin D supports testosterone production because there are vitamin D receptors on the cells in the various glands that release testosterone. In addition, vitamin D may inhibit a process called aromatization in which testosterone is changed into estrogen in men.

In the second study, researchers gave men with low testosterone and vitamin D deficiency 3,332 IUs of vitamin D or a placebo daily for a year. Taking the vitamin D supplement more than doubled vitamin D levels, bringing them into the adequate range (36 ng/ml). The men who took vitamin D increased free testosterone levels by the end of the study by 20 percent, whereas the placebo group had no change in testosterone or vitamin D.

Such a robust increase in testosterone is impressive from something as simple as getting enough vitamin D. Obviously, it is critical men get adequate vitamin D, but because this mineral plays such a central role in maintaining proper hormonal levels. Vitamin D acts as an anti-cancer agent by ensuring healthy cell replication throughout the body. They have also been found to have a more favorable body composition, less body fat with higher vitamin D levels have leaner offspring as well!

The take away is that you must ensure adequate vitamin D status for optimal body composition and health. To do so, it is necessary to supplement with D unless you get at least 20 minutes of full body sun exposure daily. The Vitamin D Council suggests achieving a level of at least 50 ng/ml, which is higher than the level reached by the men in the testosterone study.

Take a multivitamin for men supplements that contain the recommended amounts of Vitamin D to promotes raise your testosterone level.