(Extraído de Yahoo News)
Vanessa Evans – Sat Jun 25, 3:28 pm ET
A widespread deficiency in vitamin D among children and adults in the United States is being labeled the culprit in the growing pervasiveness of many long-term health issues. Scientists have long known that vitamin D helps protect the body from certain cancers and keeps bones strong, warding off conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. But emerging research over the last few years indicates that it also may be essential in lowering your risk of developing other diseases like diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and even gingivitis.
The traditional method of ensuring that the body gets enough vitamin D is through sun exposure. But people in the northern hemisphere, which traditionally gets less full sun in the winter than the southern hemisphere, have more difficulty getting enough sun exposure for their bodies to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D. It is estimated that 50 percent of all adults and a large number of children in the United States are actually deficient in this vital nutrient.
Our increased awareness of the risks involved in unprotected exposure to the sun is ironically at least partially to blame for this deficiency in many cases. Sunscreens with a higher SPF than 30 can block 95 percent of the sun's rays, which is good news in regards to protecting yourself against an increased risk of skin cancer or premature skin aging, but bad news in regards to your body's ability to produce vitamin D.
Also to blame is the fact that so many more adults, and in many cases children as well, now lead a much more sedentary lifestyle. Which means little to no time outdoors, where we would be exposed to the sun and the body would produce the necessary vitamin D.
Here are some of the latest findings and recommendations in regards to vitamin D.
* The Endocrine Society's Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study in their most recent issue that found that vitamin D deficiency leads to different forms of obesity in children, dependent upon their racial group.
* In addition to previously known health benefits, like a lowered risk of cancer, adequate amounts of vitamin D are now believed to also help maintain healthy teeth and gums by fighting the bacteria that can cause gingivitis.
* There have been indications that a deficiency in vitamin D contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes in adults. Scientists are now looking to prove that link in children as well.
* In addition to publishing the study on vitamin D deficiency and obesity in children, The Endocrine Society also announced on June 7th their new guidelines for how to treat, evaluate, and prevent vitamin D deficiencies.
* The Endocrine Society recommends a minimum of 600/IU day for individuals between the ages of 19 and 70 who are taking vitamin D supplements. That minimum increases to 800/IU day for individuals over the age of 70. They acknowledge that particular individuals may require far more, depending upon various illnesses or conditions.
* The Endocrine Society has essentially labeled everyone as being at high risk for vitamin D deficiency, so has stated that they do not recommend that everyone be screened for it.
* High-risk groups for vitamin D deficiency include, but are not limited to: older adults, people with darker complexions, obese people, and people who have undergone gastric bypass.