Higher vitamin D blood levels may reduce the risk of many types of disease including autoimmune diseases, cancers, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes mellitus and falls and fractures.
Decrease need for antibiotics
One study suggests that taking an average of 2000 IU/day of vitamin D3 reduces the risk of infections, most likely respiratory infections, in older adults.
It was found that vitamin D supplementation resulted in a statistically significant improvement in clinical depression. Vitamin D supplementation of > 800 IU/d was somewhat favorable in the management of depression.
Repairs cardiovascular disease
This study demonstrated that vitamin D improved cardiovascular disease at a dose of 4000 IU day. It promotes cell growth, and the vascular regeneration necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system
Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death
One conclusion stated that supplementation with vitamin D3 significantly reduces overall mortality among older adults.
Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality
An observational study in Sweden involving 29,518 women followed for up to 20 years with 2,545 reported deaths, found that the mortality rate for those who avoided sun exposure was approximately twice as high as those who were most exposed to the sun. There are other beneficial effects of solar UV, such as release of nitric oxide resulting in reduction of blood pressure, as well as vitamin D-independent effects on the immune system.
Influences survival outcome of colorectal cancer
Patients with stage I to III colorectal cancer, found that 25(OH)D concentrations measured approximately 15 weeks after diagnosis were associated with increased survival rates. This study provides support for the idea that people diagnosed with cancer should raise their 25(OH)D concentration to above a minimum of 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL), as it significantly increased cancer survival rates with higher concentration of 25(OH)D at time of diagnosis.
Decreases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease
Two papers reported that those with low 25(OH)D concentrations had increased risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study In the United States involving 1,658 participants followed for 5.6 years found a 125% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease for those with severely deficient 25(OH)D levels (< 25 nmol/L).
Research on the health benefits of solar UVB exposure and vitamin D continues at a rapid pace. We appear to be in the middle of the golden age of vitamin D research, a period with much progress in understanding the effects of UVB exposure and vitamin D for a large range of health outcomes.