Several years ago, I wrote an article about the famous composer Mozart and a possible cause of his premature death – vitamin D deficiency. Basically, a number of physicians have proposed that Mozart actually died of “darkness.” He slept all day long and composed at night. In the long Austrian winter nights with shortened days of sunlight and a food supply deficient in vitamin D, it’s no wonder Mozart had a variety of symptoms suggestive of a vitamin deficiency.
I teach my nutrition students that vitamin D directly affects about 3,000 of our genes. In the past several years, more research has revealed some more of the effects that low vitamin D has on our bodies.
- In a study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session, it was reported that there was a correlation between declining vitamin D levels and increasing coronary artery disease in a study of Italian men and women.
- In a study presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease in Seville, Spain (2014), the researchers showed that reduced vitamin D levels correlated with a greater risk of fracture among women.
- In the April 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it was reported that there was a protective effect for higher vitamin D levels against cognitive decline over a four-year period.
- A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2014), it was shown that a vitamin D supplementation trial that corrected low vitamin levels in women resulted in weight loss and a significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels, marker of inflammation.
- An analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that cancer patients with higher baseline levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis had better survival rates and stayed in remission longer than patients who were vitamin D deficient.
- In a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, men at risk of prostate cancer were more likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease if they were vitamin D deficient.