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About Vitamin D

Research indicates that a sufficient blood level of this hormone, vitamin D, is associated with fewer deaths from heart disease; breast, colon, and prostate cancer; hypertension, and the autoimmune conditions multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. (Science tidbit: vitamin D is considered a hormone, because it can be manufactured in our bodies and it reaches our intestine via the blood stream to signal an increase in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.)

An understanding of the role of vitamin D and concern over what appears to be a nationwide deficiency epidemic is increasing. In 2008, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported the results of a study that looked at the vitamin D status of the U.S. population from 1988-1994 compared with 2000-2004. Overall, the researchers concluded that average blood levels of vitamin D had declined significantly from the earlier period — possibly related to changes in body mass, lower milk consumption, and the use of sunscreen.

With concern over their patients’ nutritional status growing, more doctors are testing blood levels of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) levels and prescribing supplements.

Though the excitement over the positive health benefits of vitamin D seems warranted, some authorities have suggested that caution is in order. They point to the relatively few randomized clinical studies that have been performed and to the little that is known about optimal dosage levels. The issue of cause-and-effect is also in question. That is, healthy people typically have good levels of vitamin D — a positive correlation — but, there are likely to be other contributors, such as outdoor exercise and non-smoking, to their good health.

Revised: 02/17/2019

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What to know about bone health
and fracture prevention during COVID-19

  • Remove fall dangers in your home.
  • Stay physically active, and at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Eat for proper nutrition, and take a supplement if needed to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Stick with your osteoporosis medicines and ask your doctor for extra if you’re unable to go to the pharmacy.
  • If you are due for Reclast, there is little concern about delaying for a few weeks or months.
  • If you take Prolia or Evenity injections, don’t miss your appointment.  Some facilities offer “drive-through” injections. Check with your doctor.
  • Bone density testing can be postponed, if necessary.
  • Speak with your doctor about the possibility of telephone and video visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page with steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching the virus if you have a chronic illness.

Be well. We are here for you if you have any questions.