7 Health Risks Associated with Vitamin D Deficiency

Ross Quade | General | 8 Mar, 2016 | No Comments

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in everyone’s diet, especially the elderly. If you do not get enough of this nutrient in your diet, you could suffer a variety of serious health issues as a result. The most common issue resulting from this type of deficiency is depression, but there are many others that you need to worry about.

1.  Memory Loss

Memory loss as you age is a threat that anyone faces, but recent studies show that people with a significant Vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of dementia. This is because the brain is directly affected by Vitamin D. Without proper amounts, the nerve growth necessary to protect the memory does not occur. This is not to say that a lack of vitamin D will instantly cause dementia, but a chronic depletion of this nutrient can put an elderly person at increased risk for this serious disease which is one of the top 3 leading causes of death in the elderly.

2.  Cancer Risks

Cancer is deadly, there is no doubt about it, but there are certain ways you can enhance your body’s ability to fight it and Vitamin D is one of those ways. Studies show that patients with cancer that have high levels of Vitamin D have a better chance at going into remission or, at least, surviving longer with the disease than those that have lower levels. The most common cancers survived with adequate levels of this vitamin include breast and colorectal cancer with breast cancer patients having the highest survival rate.

3.  Heart Disease

There are several ways Vitamin D can help or hurt your heart. Without adequate levels of this vitamin, you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. The risks increase even higher for the elderly, however, putting them at risk for having multiple arteries affected rather than just one, which means a higher risk of fatality from heart disease. Overall, Vitamin D keeps inflammation in the body down, which helps to prevent the risk of a heart attack for everyone.

4.  Osteoporosis

Vitamin D and calcium are vital to your body to prevent osteoporosis, which is a very large risk for any aging person. Many people make the mistake of thinking they just need more calcium and neglect to realize the need for Vitamin D to help with the absorption of calcium. In addition, a lack of this nutrient on its own causes the bones to weaken, which increases the risk of not only osteoporosis, but also fractured bones. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to this disease or make it worse if you already have it or have a predisposition to it due to a family history.

5.  Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, an advanced form of gingivitis, puts you at risk for tooth loss and the need for replacements, such as dentures or implants down the road. Aside from proper dental care, Vitamin D consumption is crucial to your oral health. Without proper levels, you run the risk of not only be able to fight off the bacteria that attacks your gums and the integrity of your teeth, but also having attachment issues, which means subsequent tooth loss down the road. The reason Vitamin D is so crucial to your oral health is because of its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its assistance with bone metabolism, which helps the growth of new bone, keeping your teeth healthy.

6.  Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when there is inflammation in your digestive tract. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including a Vitamin D deficiency. This nutrient is important in order to keep the inflammation throughout your body down. While taking supplements of this vitamin might not cure the disease or even prevent it from occurring, it can help to minimize the side effects that occur with it including decreasing the amount of discomfort you feel or lowering the number of times you must be hospitalized because of this difficult disease.

7.  Depression

People often joke about their moods in the wintertime, stating that they feel blue or just cannot be happy in the winter. There might be some truth to what they say, though. Vitamin D plays a vital role in your ability to be happy. Without adequate levels of this vitamin, certain areas of the brain are unable to create enough serotonin, which leads to subsequent depression. This is why many people are provided with prescriptions to increase the level of serotonin in their brain, when sometimes increasing the consumption of Vitamin D might be just what the doctor ordered.

Vitamin D deficiency is an issue with people young and old – it does not discriminate by age; however, the elderly need to be exceptionally careful as they could suffer several of these illnesses, putting their lives in danger much more than someone that was much younger would. Anyone that has a reported deficiency in this vitamin should talk to their doctor about ways to rectify the problem in order to sidestep any serious health issues.

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