Have you been feeling fatigued lately for no apparent reason? Do you have muscle and bone pain? There are a lot of reasons you are feeling this way. For one, you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin therapy can correct Vitamin D deficiency. For more information on injection therapy, visit our website at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ.
Vitamin D, called calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin. Your body produces Vitamin D when ultraviolet rays from sunlight hit your skin. Some foods and supplements contain Vitamin D too. It aids your body in absorbing calcium to grow and strengthen your bones.
The two forms of Vitamin D are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). If taken by mouth, the small intestines absorb them, and they go into your bloodstream. The absorption isn’t affected by obesity or aging.
You may have Vitamin D deficiency if you are not getting enough of it from various sources.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
The recommended daily value of Vitamin D for adults is 20 mcg or 800 IU. It can come from sun exposure, some foods, and dietary supplements.
- Sun exposure: The body produces Vitamin D3 when ultraviolet (UV) B rays of sunlight penetrate your skin. People with dark skin and the elderly are less able to process Vitamins from sunlight.
Another study suggests sun exposure depends on the season and skin color. For fair-skinned people, 8-15 minutes is enough to get enough Vitamin D. It takes longer for dark-skinned people.
- You can find Vitamin D in some foods. Only a few foods contain Vitamin D. It comes from fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms, and beef liver. Other sources fortified with Vitamin D include milk, cereals, margarine, orange juice, and yogurt.
- Supplements containing VitaminsD2 and D3 can be beneficial. The metabolism of both D vitamins is almost the same. But studies show D3 increases serum (OH)D levels more than D2.
10 Benefits of Vitamin D
- Improve bone health: Bone density can decline and develop into osteoporosis as you age. Osteoporosis is a condition when your bone becomes brittle or weak. It occurs with Vitamin D deficiency.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are about 54 million Americans who have osteoporosis. It equates to a staggering one in every two women and up to a quarter of men over age 50.
A study shows Vitamin D with calcium may increase bone mineral density. It prevents fractures and bone turnover that leads to osteoporosis. Researchers in a different study investigated the effects of Vitamin D3 injection among Vitamin D deficient people. They found a single dose injection of 200,000 IU significantly increased D concentrations.
Another bone problem is rickets, which mostly affects children. Lack of vitamins and calcium contributes to the development of rickets. Children with rickets have bones that formed incorrectly and easily break or bend.
Studies have shown the positive effects of Vitamin D. Vitamin D benefits the bones and improves children with rickets’ quality of life. Vitamin D also enhances the responses to calcium carbonate (limestone). Moreover, an increase in serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D may result in healing rickets.
Adolescents, adults, and the elderly may develop osteomalacia or weak bones. It’s similar to rickets. A study reveals therapy of Vitamin D deficiency is useful for older adults with severe osteomalacia.
- Treat psoriasis: Psoriasis is a skin disease seen as thick red and scaly patches. It’s most common in the knees, torso, elbows, and scalp. It affects 2-3% of the population globally. Vitamin D is a therapy option for psoriasis. Vitamin D prescribed as a topical ointment is a first-line medication with corticosteroids for psoriasis. Researchers found it safe and effective for children and older adults.
- Serve as Antimicrobial: Vitamin D helps in processing glucosylceramides, which are vital for forming the skin barrier. It’s necessary for defending the skin against infections. Vitamin D supplementation works to maintain localized production of antimicrobial for people who are Vitamin D deficient. Moreover, Vitamin D3 aids in protecting wounds against infection as innate immunity.
- Promote hair health: There are only a few studies on Vitamin D’s role in hair health. Its mechanism of action is not well understood. However, research shows VitaminD may promote hair cycling. Researchers have yet to conduct further studies to support this claim.
- Provide photoprotection: Photoprotection refers to skin damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays. Excessive UV rays can result in skin aging, skin cell death, and skin cancer. Studies found Vitamin D has photoprotective effects. One of these studies shows Vitamin D prevents radical-related damage of skin from UV-B.
- Protection from skin cancer: Studies suggest Vitamin D may decrease the risk and death due to cancer. However, there are conflicting studies when it comes to skin cancer. Research shows Vitamin D increased the risk of skin cancer, while other studies show the opposite.
Researchers shed light on the issue. They reveal UV-B is responsible for the production of Vitamin D that also causes skin cancers. But their study found no clear link between Vitamin D and the risk of skin cancer.
- Boost immunity and fight fatigue: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among people with autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune diseases are diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Vitamin D deficiency leads to an increased risk of infections. Vitamin D supplementation benefits people with Vitamin D deficiency who are suffering from autoimmune disease.
Researchers conducted a study of 174 adults with stable medical conditions but felt fatigued. The adults received Vitamin D2 therapy for five weeks. Their Vitamin D levels normalized, which improved their fatigue symptoms.
- Prevent acute respiratory tract infections: Researchers conducted a study among 11,321 participants from 14 countries. Their research shows Vitamin D supplements lowered the risk of acute respiratory infections. It applied to the participants who had normal levels and others who were Vitamin D deficient. People who are Vitamin D deficient benefit from daily or weekly small doses.
- Reduces risk of multiple sclerosis (MS): Some studies suggest satisfactory Vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of MS. It may also slow down the progression of MS or lower the risk of relapse. However, there are also studies recommending further clinical trials or studies to support this claim.
- Manage Type 2 diabetes: About 463 million people worldwide have diabetes as of 2019. Researchers projected a 25% increase by 2030. Thus, it’s crucial to address the growing health problem either through prevention or management.
Vitamin D supplementation and Type 2 diabetes were studied to determine the link between them. Vitamin D plays a role in the metabolism of glucose or sugar in the blood.
A latest 2020 study, entitled “…To D or Not to D?” concluded, “Results from trials are congruent with a large body of evidence from observational studies indicating Vitamin D has a role in modulating diabetes risk.”
The link between VitaminD to various cancers
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, there is not enough evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harm of multivitamins in cancer prevention. The efficacy of Vitamin D as an anti-cancer supplement needs further studies.
Researchers conducted various studies to investigate the link of Vitamin D to different cancers. Conclusions derived from multiple studies have conflicting findings.
- Vitamin D treats breast cancer: Researchers conducted a clinical trial called Women’s Health Initiative. A total of 36,282 postmenopausal women received 400 IU Vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium daily for seven years. The clinical trial reveals thD3 and calcium supplements didn’t reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
A separate study investigated the same women 4.9 years after the initial clinical trial. The study reveals an 18% lower risk of breast cancer for the women who continued to take Vitamin D and calcium. But the study also discovers a negative result. Women who took higher doses of Vitamin D at the start of the clinical trial had a 28% higher risk of breast cancer.
- Vitamin D and colorectal cancer: The same Women’s Health Initiative shows Vitamin D and calcium supplements had no effect on colorectal cancer. The VITAL trial found no connection between Vitamin D supplements and the risk of serrated polyps. It had no link to colorectal adenomas, too.
- Vitamin D and pancreatic cancer: Researchers investigated 12,205 men and women. They found variations of Vitamin D concentrations or 25(OH)D had different results. Vitamin D of 30 ng/m to 40 ng/ml didn’t reduce pancreatic cancer risk. But, concentrations above 40 ng/ml increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Vitamin D and prostate cancer: There have been studies suggesting high levels of Vitamin D or 25(OH)D might increase prostate cancer risk. One of these studies is a meta-analysis of 21 related studies among men with prostate cancer. Higher levels of 25(OH)D indicate a 17% higher risk of prostate cancer .
However, Studies published state otherwise. These studies found no relationship between 25(OH)D levels and the risk of prostate cancer.
Researchers analyzed 19 prospective studies. It involved 13,462 men with prostate cancer and 20,261 men as a control group. The results reveal low levels of Vitamin D or Vitamin D deficiency didn’t increase prostate cancer risk. High levels of 25(OH)D didn’t mean a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Higher levels of 25(OH)D though was associated with 9% lower mortality rates from prostate and other cancers.
The link between Vitamin D to heart, muscle, and mental health
Does Vitamin D impact heart, muscle, and mental health? Like the association between Vitamin D and various cancers, there have been conflicting answers to this question.
- Heart health: Researchers conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis based on 19 relevant studies. They found a link between lower Vitamin D levels to increased risk of ischemic stroke. It includes myocardial infarction and early death with decreased 25(OD) D levels.
However, a separate study reveals monthly high-dose VitaminD supplement doesn’t prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Muscle health: Vitamin D supplements impact muscle strength and function in older adults. There is a consistent relationship between Vitamin D status and muscle function in frail older adults. Moreover, n A decline in muscle function found by researchers indicates a link to a Vitamin D deficiency.
Other studies reveal conflicting results. One of these studies is the case of 78 pre-frail elderly. They received Vitamin D3 or placebo every day for six months. Researchers found no difference in muscle strength and performance compared with the placebo group.
- Mental health: Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 14 observational studies among 31,424 adults. They concluded low Vitamin D levels are associated with depression.
However, a VITAL trial shows no evidence Vitamin D3 in adults prevents depression. There were no significant differences in the depressive incidents among two groups of participants after taking Vitamin D3 and placebo—the two groups were composed of people with no history of depression and recurrent depression.
No studies have yet tested the benefits of Vitamin D3 to depression. It applies to people with Vitamin D deficiency who are taking antidepressants.
What is Vitamin D deficiency?
Adequate Vitamin D is 50-125 nmol/l. The high level is 125 nmol/l and above, while the low level is 30 nmol/l and below.
There are cases where deficiency in Vitamin D may show no symptoms. A Vitamin D blood test may help confirm it.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
Some of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are bone and back problems, tiredness or fatigue and hair loss.
- Bone and back problems: Researchers from various studies connect Vitamin D deficiency to bone and back problems. Chronic low back pain was prevalent among Indians who were Vitamin D deficient. At the same time, bone pain was associated wi Vitamin D deficiency and secondary thyroid problems among Turkish immigrants in Germany showed bone pain was another symptom of the deficiencies.
Vitamin D deficiency in women with low bone mass showed back pain linked to the deficiency too. In comparison, researchers in another study found an association between low Vitamin D and bone mineral density. It resulted from the study among 1,436 Arab women aged 45-65 years old.
- Tiredness or fatigue: A study reveals a high prevalence of fatigue among 200 female nurses. Researchers noted 89% of nurses suffered from Vitamin D deficiency. The research shows a significant relationship between fatigue and Vitamin D deficiency. Another study also found 77.2% of participants with low Vitamin D experienced fatigue.
- Hair loss: Researchers attributed severe hair loss or alopecia areata to low VitaminD blood levels. Researchers found a connection between VitaminD deficiency and the risk of developing alopecia areata.
What are the causes of VitaminD deficiency?
- Lack of VitaminD intake from various sources
- Malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cystic fibrosis
- Limited sun exposure
What’s the best VitaminD supplement – D2 or D3?
Your body absorbs vitamins D2 and D3 in your gut then into your bloodstream. Calcifediol is the chief VitaminD circulating in the blood. Calcifediol produced in the liver indicates your body’s VitaminD status.
D2 is found in plant sources, while D3 in animal sources. Plants receive UV-B from sunlight, which leads to the formation of D2 as plant oils. Plants include mushrooms, fungi, or yeast. Your liver metabolizes D2 into 25-hydroxyvitamin or 25(OH) D2.
Your skin forms D3 when UV-B from sunlight hits your skin. The compound is called 7-dehydrocholesterol in your skin. Your liver metabolizes D3 into 25-hydroxyvitamin or 25(OH) D3.
Between the two D vitamins, studies show Vitamin D3 is better than D3.
- Researchers investigated the efficacy and safety of high-dose intramuscular injections of D2 and D3. A total of 69 people with VitaminD deficiency took part in the 12-week study. The study reveals both D vitamins were well tolerated and safe at 300 000-IU boluses. However, the researchers found D3 was more potent than D2. They suggested administering Vitamin D3 boluses three times per year.
- A systemic review and meta-analysis compared D2 and D3. It determined which D vitamins better impact the concentration of 25(OH)D in the body. The review found D3 had significant positive effects. It raised serum levels of 25(OH)D better than D2.
- D3 works better than D2 for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Researchers recruited participants with CKD from the University of Kansas Medical Center. In this first-ever randomized clinical study, the researchers observed D3 to be more superior than D2.
D3 raised serum level concentration of 25(OH)D during the therapy. They also noted a decrease in D3’s performance. It happened when D3 was discontinued when the participants reached a stable state. The researchers suggested D3 maintenance therapy may be needed to sustain the 25(OH)D level.
D3 performs better than D2 taken by mouth or injected intramuscularly. It’s effective, safe, and well-tolerated by people who are Vitamin D deficient. A study further reveals D2 has a shorter shelf life due to sensitivity to temperature changes.
However, studies on the stability of D2 and D3 in oil are lacking. Experts also debated the relevance to health of Vitamins D2 and D3 in oil.. At the moment, D2 and D3 vitamins benefit you in many ways. You can get both D vitamins from dietary supplements or fortified foods.
What are the side effects of Vitamin D therapy?
Vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis is possible with the excessive intake of Vitamin D. It rarely happens. When it does, serum 25(OH)D levels are over 88 ng/ml. Toxicity causes hypercalcemia or excessive calcium in the blood. You may experience confusion, muscle weakness, vomiting, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Severe cases can lead to bone pain and excess deposits of calcium in the kidney.
When is the best time to take Vitamin D?
You may take Vitamin D supplements in the morning on a full stomach. It improves absorption with a 50% increase in serum levels of 25(OH)D. Add some healthy fat to your meal, as a study shows it enhances absorption of VitaminD.
Researchers found a connection between vitamin deficiency and poor sleep quality. Taking VitaminD at night may interfere with your sleep.
To know when is the best time to get an IM injection of Vitamin D, call the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ at 505-445-4300 today.