Skip to comments.Low vitamin D levels 'linked to Parkinson's disease'
Posted on 05/23/2011 8:07:07 PM PDT by neverdem
Having low vitamin D levels may increase a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease later in life, say Finnish researchers.
Their study of 3,000 people, published in Archives of Neurology, found people with the lowest levels of the sunshine vitamin had a three-fold higher risk.
Vitamin D could be helping to protect the nerve cells gradually lost by people with the disease, experts say.
The charity Parkinson's UK said further research was required.
Parkinson's disease affects several parts of the brain, leading to symptoms like tremor and slow movements.
The researchers from Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare measured vitamin D levels from the study group between 1978 and 1980, using blood samples.
They then followed these people over 30 years to see whether they developed Parkinson's disease.
They found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop Parkinson's, compared with the group with the highest levels of vitamin D.
Most vitamin D is made by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, although some comes from foods like oily fish, milk or cereals.
As people age, however, their skin becomes less able to produce vitamin D.
Doctors have known for many years that vitamin D helps calcium uptake and bone formation.
But research is now showing that it also plays a role in regulating the immune system, as well as in the development of the nervous system.
Writing in an editorial in the US journal Archives of Neurology, Marian Evatt, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, says that health authorities should consider raising the target vitamin D level.
"At this point, 30 nanograms per millilitre of blood or more appears optimal for bone health in humans...
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
For years I heard people in the upper midwest are more likely to develop this. Being that those places are the one with severe weather in winter (leading to less sunlight) this might make sense.
They speak of increased exposure to sunlight but, considering the latitudes of the UK, that seems a bad joke to me.
Thanks for the ping. Very interesting...
To be honest, I think modern lifestyle makes it difficult for anyone to get enough sunlight anyway. We cover up, we stay inside most of the day, we use sunscreen, etc. I recently had my D levels redone tho, after having been on 5000 iu per day for well over a year. I’m now up from 15 (I think that’s what I started at) to now 64. That’s a significant increase.
I agree. In the northern hemisphere we are in the period of the longest days of the year right now. Don't know about you but I'm not getting much beneficial sunlight.
5000 i.u. supplementally on a daily basis is the optimum for good health, plus sunshine! Throw in some B complex, 2000 mg.s C, 400 i.u. E , CoQ 10 and some Vitamin K3 should supplement the average healthy lifestyle American.
Eat organic, avoid gmo’s ( corn, soy, alfalfa and all other Monsanto tainted seeds) You should be good to go with a good probiotic, these diseases live in your gut..a.k.a. “leaky gut syndrome”.
Yes, I don’t get nearly enough sunlight, and at my age, I hate to get much more unprotected sun exposure.
I do take a B complex as well, per my neuros orders.
The rest of it I’m not going to get into a discussion on an online forum about. You can find as many different suggestions as you can people, so let suffice it to say, I do what I think is right for me, as I’m sure you do for yourself. :)
Sunshine is God’s gift to us all.
Get as much as you can, I am no “spring chicken” myself but I am outside every time the sun comes out in the NE.
I am too old to worry about wrinkles, but coconut oil makes your skin feel terrific!
Thank you. He blesses me every day. I worry more about skin cancer than wrinkles. It’s a little late to worry about those. :) But I don’t bother with sun block. I just go outside when I go outside. I have to admit, the sun feels so good on your skin. I think there’s a reason for that.
Oh, and we live in S. FL. Lots of sunshine here.
Dr. John Cannell at vitamindcouncil.org has published a theory blaming the epidemic of autism we’re now experiencing on the sun avoidance of the past two decades. I think he’s onto something, given some of the letters he’s received from parents who then put their autistic children on vitamin D3 supplements.
Researchers suspect that a host of diseases are influenced by a vitamin d deficiency. I take 5,000 IU in the winter in Wisconsin, and have found that that’s enough to raise my level into the 60-70 ng/ml area, and have also found that I drop into the 30’s taking 1,000 IU in the summer, even though I’m outside a lot. My conclusion is that for my body weight, I should be taking 5,000 or a little less in winter and probably 3,000 or so in the summer to maintain 70-80 ng/ml, which is where I want to be.
I test in April/May to get the end of winter reading and in Sep/Oct to get the end of summer reading and adjust accordingly. Anyone supplementing vitamin D3 should do similar testing until they’ve determined the amount they need to take, because the excess is stored in the body and you can build up too much.
You can add Multiple Sclerosis to that list. The fact is, that vitamin D was once used as a therapy for a lot of diseases, but they used (in some cases) extremely high doses (500k to 1MIL I.U.), and swung the other way. A person, from what I’ve read needs about 30K I.U. per day, and that you could feesibly get that from a dose of about 40 min or so (IIRC), if you were sunbathing and had full exposure. Most people get virtually NO sun exposure these days, so I personally believe that we’re seeing a huge increase in a lot of other diseases that our own immune systems could fight.
For some time, I worked the graveyard shift. I live in a norther state (Border with Idaho), and we have harsh winters. My boss recommended taking vitamin D supplements, which I now do, because he was found deficient and had great pain throughout his body, lethargy, and weakness. I try to take about 10-20K in supplement, and get as much exposure as I can, but it has worked wonders for me. If I forget to take my vit. D for about 3 days, I get the extreme leg and hand pain again, and remember to take it, it begins to ease within an hour or two, and is gone the next morning. I recommended it to my dad and he noticed a difference almost immediately too.
I was very dismayed to find that I went back to the local Club (Sam’s), and they no longer offer 5k I.U. Vitamin D supplements, but have dropped to 2K. I’m looking for another store, but am pretty sad that they quit selling it. Also, I found the softgels to work for me, MUCH better than the tablets.
P.S. As A side note, there is vitamin D in some foods, but I have read that there was no *recorded* benefit, no matter the food intake, only with sun, or supplementation. I can’t eat a lot of dairy products anyway, so it’s sun or supplements for me, anyhow.
Thanks for sharing that info. Do you have a ballpark figure of how much it is to test for blood Vit. D levels?
I do a finger-stick blood draw at home, using a kit from ZRT Labs that costs about $70 with postage. If you go to Dr. Cannell’s site to order it, he gets a cut, which is a good thing because he’s probably doing more than anyone to sort through all the old and the more recent studies and then updating everyone on the results.
Here’s the link to his site page with the test: http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil/
There’s also a ton of info on his site, including his specific advice to avoid getting your D3 in the form of cod liver oil. The vitamin A in the form of retinol in cod liver oil will frustrate the uptake of the D3, he says.
Someone said they take 10-20,000 per day. Unless you weigh 300-400 pounds or more, you’d better get tested a few times to make sure you’re not heading into the 150-200 ng/ml level that would constitute overdosing. We don’t excrete the excess vitamin D3, like we do with water soluble vitamins. It just builds up in the fat tissue and can get too high.
It should only cost $35-$50....
And here’s a site that links to several videos of presentations by the current crop of vitamin D3 researchers. If you’re really interested in learning more about the direction the research is taking, the videos will be helpful, though they are long.