1. Osteoporosis - Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium, which you need for strong bones. Getting enough vitamin D throughout your life is important, since most bone is formed when you are young. For post-menopausal women who are at higher risk of osteoporosis, taking vitamin D along with calcium supplements can reduce the rate of bone loss, help prevent osteoporosis, and may reduce the risk of fractures.
2. Other Bone Disorders - Vitamin D protects against rickets and osteomalacia, softening of the bones in adults. Seniors who live in northern areas and people who do not get direct sunlight for at least 45 minutes per week should make sure they get enough vitamin D through fortified milk and dairy products. Or, they can take a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D.
3. Prevention of Falls - People who have low levels of vitamin D are at greater risk of falling, and studies have found that taking a vitamin D supplement (700 - 1000 IU daily) may reduce that risk. In seniors, vitamin D may reduce falls by 22%.
4. Parathyroid Problems - The four parathyroid glands are located in the neck. They make parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps the body store and use calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is often used to treat disorders of the parathyroid gland.
5. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - People with low levels of vitamin D seem to have a high risk of developing high blood pressure than those with higher levels of vitamin D. However, there's no proof that low levels of vitamin D cause high blood pressure in healthy people. Evidence about vitamin D and blood pressure has been mixed.
6. Cancer - There is some evidence that getting enough vitamin D may lower your risk of certain cancers, especially of the colon, breast, prostate, skin, and pancreas. This evidence is based mostly on studies of large groups of people, population studies, and doesn't prove a connection between taking vitamin D and lowering your cancer risk. Some research suggests that postmenopausal women who take calcium and vitamin D supplements may have a lower risk of developing cancer of any kind compared to those who don' t take these supplements.
7. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - SAD is a type of depression that happens during the winter months, when there's not much sunlight. It's often treated with photo (light) therapy. A few studies suggest that the mood of people with SAD improves when they take vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about whether vitamin D might help your treatment for SAD.
8. Diabetes - Studies find that people who have lower levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who have higher levels of vitamin D. But there is no evidence that taking vitamin D can help prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. One study found that giving infants doses of 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D during the first year of life may help protect them from developing type 1 diabetes when they are older.
9. Heart Disease - Studies suggest that people with low levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of developing heart disease, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure compared to people with higher levels of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of calcium build-up in the arteries. Calcium build-up is part of the plaque that forms in arteries when you have atherosclerosis and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
10. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Studies have found that women who take at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily lower their risk of developing MS. And higher levels of vitamin D in the blood seem to be associated with a lower risk of developing MS in white men and women, although the same may not be true of African American and Hispanic men and women. However, this does not mean that vitamin D supplements will help prevent or treat MS in people.
11. Obesity - Studies have found that people who have lower levels of vitamin D are more likely to be obese compared to people with higher levels of vitamin D. One high-quality study also found that postmenopausal women who took 400 IU vitamin D plus 1,000 mg calcium daily for 3 years were less likely to gain weight than those who took placebo, although the weight difference was small. Women who were not getting enough calcium to start with (less than 1,200 mg per day) saw the most benefit.
12. Overall Mortality - Studies suggest that people with lower levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of dying from any cause.
- Being very thirsty
- Metal taste in mouth
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Bone pain
- Sore eyes
- Itchy skin
- A frequent need to urinate
- Muscle problems