Low vitamin D status has been suggested to contribute to the development of several chronic diseases. However, controlled studies have ruled out any link between vitamin D insufficiency and conditions such as arterial hypertension, multiple sclerosis or metabolic disorders. The uncertainty about the actual role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases has increased recently as conditions such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal dysfunction were suggested to be linked to vitamin D deficiency. The belief that many of these diseases could be prevented or cured by vitamin D has created a hype about the beneficial effects of supplemental vitamin D. However, in reality, high doses of vitamin D can cause serious health problems because of the U-shaped dose–response relationships.
In this review, Meinrad Peterlik from Medical University of Vienna, Austria, summarizes the evidence surrounding the link between intake of vitamin D and chronic diseases. While many people praise vitamin D as a remedy for many diseases, sceptics say that vitamin D could only be useful for the prevention of osteoporosis. He summarises that the truth may lie in between these extremes as there is evidence from clinical studies indicating that vitamin D in combination with calcium could also protect from other diseases such as colorectal and breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
To read the review in full for free until , please click the link below:
Vitamin D insufficiency and chronic diseases: hype and reality, M. Peterlik, Food Funct., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c2fo10262e
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