There are a number of children’s health issues that can be connected to a need for vitamin D. For one thing, vitamin D levels may be connected to cognition and mental health. A study involving 104 adolescents was published in BMC Psychiatry (2012 May 9; 12(1):38). The subjects were receiving acute mental health treatment over a 16-month period. Researchers found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and psychotic features, with 72% of the subjects having insufficient vitamin D. According to research appearing in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (May 21, 2009), men with higher vitamin D levels outperformed men with low vitamin D levels in tests of attention and in the speed of processing information. Subjects of the study were 3,369 men who were participating in the Male Aging Study. High vitamin D levels were associated with better performance on a test of psychomotor speed and visual scanning. The vitamin D performance connection was especially evident in the older participants.
Activated vitamin D reduces inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) and increases the effectiveness of certain white blood cells. It stimulates potent antimicrobial peptides found in white blood cells and in the cells lining the respiratory tract. Research in the British journal, Epidemiology and Infection (2006 Dec; 134(6):1129-40) propose that the reason flu season is in the winter may be because low sunlight and low vitamin D levels. Cod liver oil, a source of vitamin D, reduces the incidence of viral infections. Treating children with vitamin D reduced the incidence of respiratory infections. Vitamin D may even be beneficial to patients with asthma and allergies. A study that was published in Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research (2013 Sept; 5(5): 283-8) looked at the relationship between vitamin D levels and asthma severity. When the population was stratified by vitamin D status, 91% of asthmatic patients with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL and 74% of patients with vitamin D levels between 20 and 30 ng/mL had severe asthma versus 50% of those with vitamin D sufficiency. Vitamin D insufficiency was associated with a higher risk of severe asthma. High vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of hospitalization or emergency department visits.
Vitamin D is the bang for the buck vitamin to take for your immune system during the fall season and winter. Not only do you see reduced amounts of upper respiratory/flu infections but the literature support for cancer prevention is phenomenal. Individuals dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder will see great benefit as well since vitamin D is a precursor to serotonin production. The adult dose for vitamin D is 5-6,000iu’s (D3) a day. So before the hysteria is this year’s Flu season begins start supplementing with your vitamin D.