Vitamin D benefits for your well being
Vitamin D and migraine
About 80 % of people worldwide suffer from tension headache and migraine. Women are more often affected than men. Migraine belongs to the recurrent severe headaches. It is assumed that the development of migraine attacks is correlating with inflammations of the nerves and blood vessels. The main characteristic of migraine attacks are headaches that last from several hours to days and are often intensive, pulsating and unilateral. Further symptoms are nausea, sometimes vomiting, light and noise sensitivity, neck pains and muscle tensions.
According to the existing results, vitamin D-supplementation can reduce inflammation factors which are involved in migraine headaches.
Currently, only few studies that analysed the correlation between migraine and vitamin D are available. Existing research findings are inconsistent: Some studies show a positive correlation and others no correlation. Apart from this, there is a wide variety of studies that are showing in detail that higher vitamin D-levels help reduce inflammations in the body. Therefore, it is likely that vitamin D plays a role in the development of migraine attacks.
A recent study analysed the effect of vitamin D-supplementation on the symptoms of migraine patients. They concluded that vitamin D-intake can contribute to the reduction of the frequency of headache attacks. New research findings published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice suggest that vitamin D-levels and factors of vitamin D metabolism influence migraine.
Summary: Available studies are contradictory. It is assumed that due to its anti-inflammatory function, vitamin D can reduce the development of migraine. Moreover, an optimal vitamin D-supply can reduce the symptoms of migraine.
Vitamin D and cardiovascular diseases
Vitamin D has even more to offer than its well-known effect on the skeleton and bone health. In fact, more and more influences of vitamin D on the state of health have been revealed. The enormous functional scope of vitamin D results from its participation in roughly 200 different enzymatic reactions of the body. Nearly every metabolic process is influenced by enzymes. Enzymes serve as a catalyst in the body, whereby metabolic processes are accelerated and can run with lower energy consumption than usual.
Meaningful study situation:
In 2012, a study of the American Journal of Cardiology showed that vitamin D-deficiency can be considered a cause for higher mortality rates due to cardiovascular diseases. By administration of vitamin D-supplements, a reduction of these risks could be determined. Also, it was found out that vitamin D-deficiency is a risk factor for diseases of the blood vessels, for cardiac muscle problems and high blood pressure.
These results were confirmed by another study with more than 40,000 participants. This study shows that vitamin D-values of less than 15 ng/ml - compared to >30 ng/ml - show a correlation with increased incidence of high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, heart failures and strokes. Experts in the field of orthomolecular medicine recommend vitamin D-levels of 40 to 90 ng/ml for an optimal and preventive effect.
Conclusion: A vitamin D-deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart defects, diseases of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
How does vitamin D influence cardiovascular diseases?
Vitamin D improves cardiac muscles and their strength. This happens through the reduction of thrombus formation as thrombi are eliminated by increased plasmin production. Plasmin helps the body to dissolve blood clots and thereby, for instance, protects against heart attacks and strokes. Thus, the pressure in the heart vessels is reduced and blood can circulate freely. Furthermore, vitamin D plays an important role in calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Vitamin D assures the incorporation of minerals in the bones. In case of vitamin D-deficiency, especially calcium is not incorporated correctly and this can result in calcification of the vessels.
Summary: Vitamin D plays an important role in cardiovascular health. Therefore, everybody should strive for a vitamin D-level within the preventive range to avoid cardiovascular diseases. A regular check (at least twice a year) is the logical conclusion in order to identify a deficiency and, if necessary, to correct it.
Vitamin D and skin diseases
Skin diseases are a cumbersome topic and the psychological strain is high. Apart from external applications, like creams and lotions, also promising diets are chosen to improve neurodermatitis, acne and Co. But it may well be that the lack of just one vitamin causes the skin symptoms.This was also assessed in recent studies. Vitamin D-deficiency plays a significant role in skin diseases such as neurodermatitis (atopic eczema), psoriasis or vitiligo. These can also be treated with UVB-rays in dermatological practices, as these rays are needed by the skin for vitamin D-synthesis.
Neurodermatitis and vitamin D: What does scientific research say?
Studies show promising results in the field of vitamin D-preparations and neurodermatitis. According to a study conducted with 95 neurodermatitis patients, those with low vitamin D-levels more often had bacterial skin infections.
Psoriasis and vitamin D: What does scientific research say?
Another study researched the effects of high vitamin D-doses (by supplements) on the clinical course of psoriasis and vitiligo. It showed a positive effect from treatment with vitamin D in all nine patients aged 14 to 16 years. A repigmentation of 25-75 % could be achieved. Furthermore, it was found out that the calcium-levels increased in all patients through vitamin D-supplementation, in spite of their calcium-poor diet. Thus, a simple intake of vitamin D-preparations can impact positively on the course of psoriasis and Co.
Acne and vitamin D: What does scientific research say?
Moreover, it was proven that vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is important for wound healing as it is needed for the production of antimicrobial peptides which repel infectious micro-organisms. It not only protects the skin against infections, accelerates wound healing and promotes the formation of new cells but also plays a major role in the immune system. Vitamin D3 prevents the acne-skin from infections and contributes to its healing.
Summary: As vitamin D promotes the effect and absorption of calcium in the intestine, it is thus essential for a healthy skin. A high-dose therapy is thus effective and safe in patients with neurodermatitis, psoriasis and vitiligo. A scientific study showed that through supplementation of vitamin K2 the proportion of carboxylated osteocalcin could be increased. This means that vitamin K2 is involved in the improvement of bone mineralization.
But attention: In case of intake of vitamin-K antagonists, i.e. drugs that reduce blood clotting, the daily intake of vitamin K2 through supplements should not exceed 10 µg.
Does an increase of vitamin D-levels cause vitamin K-deficiency?
Vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 are both involved in bone mineralization. They stimulate production and incorporation of osteocalcin, a peptide hormone. It is a marker of bone formation. Due to this common task the hypothesis is put forward that a rising vitamin D-level could cause vitamin K-deficiency. This leads to the conclusion that an additional intake of vitamin K2 is necessary, if vitamin D3 is taken.
At present, there is no clear scientific basis that vitamin K2 is recommended in addition to vitamin D3. Also large-scale studies did not record the influence of vitamin K. Only in case of cardiovascular diseases, vitamin K can be suitable as one aspect of an appropriate therapy. Leading researchers working with Prof. Dr. med. Michael F. Holick from the University Boston are agreeing on the fact that an additional intake of vitamin K2 in case of vitamin D3-supplementation is not necessary.
Summary: From sole scientific perspective, a well-founded effect of vitamin K2 in addition to intake of vitamin D3 cannot be deduced due to the lack of studies. The studies available at present on the topic of vitamin D-absorption in the body have not researched the role of vitamin K2.
Vitamin D and cancer
The term ‘cancer’ is an umbrella term covering a plethora of malignant tumour diseases. What all of these have in common is the unscheduled and uncontrolled cellular proliferation of the tumour cells which can displace and destroy healthy tissue.
Nearly 8 million people die from cancer each year. That are 13 % of all deaths worldwide. The most common types of cancer are lung, stomach, colon, liver and breast cancer. In men, lung, colon and prostate cancer appear especially frequent. Whereas women most often battle against breast, lung and colon cancer. The frequency is given in descending order. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 30 % of cancerous diseases could be avoided through prevention.
What does scientific research say?
According to scientific data, vitamin D reduces the cancer risk; for example in case of colon cancer, by the regulation of the spreading and development of cells. A study conducted in 2004 with more than 16,000 patients determined that an increased vitamin D-level reduces the risk to develop some types of cancer. Through vitamin D-levels of more than 50 ng/ml a reduction of new cases of breast cancer by more than 50 % could be noticed. Furthermore, studies in the field of cancer of the large intestine and rectum in correlation with vitamin D were evaluated. The risk of new cases of cancer was reduced by 46 %.
This means: An optimal Vitamin D-level can reduce the risk of breast cancer and cancer of the large intestine and rectum by half!