Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vitamin D and the brain

Dr. Thomas Burne, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland agrees that skin cancer is certainly a health problem (particularly in Australia), and that has become a major focus, given that there are very few examples of the real issues of a frank vitamin D deficiency (e.g. rickets). However, he says that the long term effects of vitamin D insufficiency e.g. osteoporosis, immune compromise including cancer, schizophrenia (due to pregnancy deficiency), cardiovascular disease and more are all around us. Vitamin D is essential for the optimal development of the foetal brain.

Messages from the medical profession are still mixed, confused and conflicting, but Burne is in no doubt about the pressing need to reverse the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. He cites evidence that sunlight stimulates production of Nitric Oxide (NO), reducing blood pressure, saying that this effect alone would far outweigh the issues of skin cancer (which can be cut out or burnt off). 

Cognitive deficits due to vitamin D deficiency are not confined to the infant, but are also apparent in older animals. These are subtle effects but affected rats definitely exhibit a form of attention deficit. They also have muscle weakness, they can’t swim well, can’t float, have multiple other problems. The active form of vitamin D (D3) or 25(OH)D is a cheap, simple way to reverse some of these deficits. 

Find out about supplement dosage during pregnancy and the need for more when you're breastfeeding.

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