Question From A Reader
Patricia Zifferblatt | February 3, 2009

Can Vitamin D protect against Parkinson’s Disease?

The medical research on Vitamin D is positive and timely. Hardly a day goes by that we at BLI do not hear something important about the use of Vitamin D. So let’s start at the beginning. What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is created when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet B light from sunshine. In addition, cold-water fish and dark-leafy green vegetables are also high in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important for transporting minerals like calcium and magnesium to the bones in order to help keep them strong. This we have known for a long time. However, additional benefits of Vitamin D are being revealed as researchers continue their studies of the sunshine vitamin. Just recently, medical research found that low levels of Vitamin D in the body are associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases, as well as Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and some forms of Cancer. A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicated that women with low blood levels of vitamin D were almost four times as likely to have an emergency C-section as those with normal levels. Vitamin D also appears to play an important role in cardio-vascular health.

So, to answer your question…yes, Vitamin D appears to be important in delaying, and possibly preventing, the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. Since the elderly may be prone to even lower levels, treatment with Vitamin D should always be considered a viable option. It is also a very important vitamin for the entire body’s overall health. And people who live in cold, sun-deprived locations, or those who work mainly indoors, may not get the sunshine and Vitamin D they require without daily supplementation. According to the researchers, diet alone might not be sufficient to manage vitamin D levels, and that a combination of adequate dietary intake of vitamin D, exposure to sunlight, and treatment with vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplements could reduce the risk of many related health concerns.

How much Vitamin D should an adult consume everyday? Since Vitamin D is a “fat soluble” vitamin, amounts may differ among people, depending on such factors as age, race, and specific needs. However, 400 IU is the recommended daily amount. For those people with specific and therapeutic requirements, the amount may be increased by a health professional.

God bless and take care. Momma Pat
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