Text Size

Vitamin D: The Vitamin of Life

Scientists have known about the importance of vitamin D since its discovery in 1922 by Edward Mellanby during his research on Rickets, a disease which was affecting children. Interestingly, in recent years, scientists may have linked a number of modern day health concerns to a vitamin D deficiency in adults.

Research has also discovered a correlation between weakened immune systems and low vitamin D levels, suggesting a possible need for supplementation. Vitamin D is a regulator of the immune system. Many studies support vitamin D's role in immune health. During the winter months, when sunlight exposure is significantly decreased or limited, vitamin D supplementation is helpful for supporting a healthy immune system.

In addition, there is some evidence linking low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of falls among the elderly. Results from 8 studies on more than 2,400 adults age 65 and older looking at vitamin D supplementation for fall prevention showed a minimum of 700-1000 IU of vitamin D daily can substantially reduce risk of falls among older adults.

Some of the most impressive findings on vitamin D, however, have been in its role in genetics. It influences genetic signals which promote the healthy development of cells in tissues, including the heart, liver, thyroid, and brain.

Vitamin D has been proven to be a key ingredient for overall well-being. With so many people working indoors and shielding themselves from the sun when they are outside, supplementing with vitamin D is advisable for maintaining good health. 

Questions for one of our health experts?

Ask an Expert