A new study out of Oxford University pinpoints vitamin D deficiency as a culprit in serious illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders. According to the report, which was recently published online in the journal Genome Research, genetic receptors throughout the body need adequate vitamin D levels to prevent these and other serious illnesses from developing.
Multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Chron's disease, leukemia -- these and many more diseases are often caused by a lack of vitamin D. Your genes literally have receptors that need vitamin D in order to properly express themselves. If there is not enough of the vitamin, serious illness is prone to develop.
The Oxford team made specific observations about the importance of vitamin D in the genome regions associated with autoimmune diseases and cancer, noting that the nutrient is absolutely vital in helping to prevent these diseases from forming.
"Considerations of vitamin D supplementation as a preventative measure for these diseases are strongly warranted," expressed Sreeram Ramagopalan, author of the study.
However, current recommendations for vitamin D intake are unacceptably low, and many nations are considering updating their guidelines. The U.S. Institute of Medicine, for example, recommends getting a mere 200 to 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day, an amount far too low to have much therapeutic effect.
Since summer sun exposure creates about 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the skin in just 15 minutes, supplementation with at least 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily, particularly during the winter, is preferable. Healthy blood levels of vitamin D are somewhere between 50 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), so many natural health professionals recommend having a "25 OH Vitamin D" blood test performed to check these levels.