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Multiple health concerns surface as winter, vitamin D deficiences arrive
Date:11/23/2009

been conserved in them through millions of years of evolution.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for tuberculosis, was historically used to treat it, and analogs of it may provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches not only to that disease but also HIV infection.

  • Epidemiological studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and increased rates of respiratory infection and influenza, and it has been hypothesized that flu epidemics may be the result of vitamin D deficiency.

  • Higher levels of a protein linked to vitamin D have been associated with reduced infections and longer survival of dialysis patients.

  • Vitamin D has important roles in reducing inflammation, blood pressure and helping to protect against heart disease.

    There is still much to explore about the mechanisms of action of vitamin D, the potential use of synthetic analogs of it in new therapies, and its role in fighting infection, Gombart said. Since only primates and humans have the same biological pathways for use of vitamin D to regulate cathelicidin, studies have been constrained by the lack of appropriate animal models for research, he said. OSU scientists hope to address that by creation of a line of genetically modified mice that have some of these characteristics.

    One compelling new study just done by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, and presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, followed for more than a year nearly 28,000 patients ages 50 or older with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. It found that in patients with very low levels of vitamin D compared to those with normal levels 77 percent were more likely to die, 45 percent were more likely to develop coronary artery disease, and 78 percent were more likely to have a stroke.


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  • Contact: Adrian Gombart
    adrian.gombart@oregonstate.edu
    541-737-8018
    Oregon State University
    Source:Eurekalert

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