Vitamin D Treatment – Disease, Disorders, and Special Conditions

Once you are diagnosed with cancer, does it help to take vitamin D supplements?

We don’t know whether increasing vitamis D once a diagnosis of cancer is made provides any benefit in reducing the growth of the cancer or the cancer’s outcome. However, there is no reason not to have all cancer patients take enough vitamin D to maintain their blood level of vitamin D between 30 and 100 nanograms per milliliter. It may improve muscle strength and bone strength as well as possibly enhancing the therapeutic benefit of any cancer treatment. Patients with cancer often have aches and pains in their bones, muscles, and joints, as well as gastrointestinal upset. Curing them of a vitamin D deficiency can help. Studies have shown that cancer patients are typically deficient. They have also demonstrated in mice that colon and prostate cancer cell growth is less in mice receiving adequate vitamin D.

Are vitamin D supplements safe during chemotherapy, or could they interact with the action of these agents?

There is no evidence that vitamin D supplements will interact with chemotherapy. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is safe during chemotherapy.

Is it necessary to have vitamin D levels between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter to prevent cancer?

It does appear that a blood level of vitamin D is at least 30 nanograms per milliliter may decrease the risk of many deadly cancers. It is unknown, however, the blood level needs to be 60 nanograms per milliliter. There is no harm in keeping the blood level at between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter.

Is vitamin D deficiency linked to thyroid disease?

Vitamin D deficiency does not cause thyroid disease, but patients with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid that leads to an imbalance of the body’s metabolic hormones, tripping a cascade of health problems) have increased destruction of vitamin D and are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Is there any correlation between vitamin D deficiency and hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid)?

There is no correlation between vitamin D deficiency and hypothyroidism. Vitamin D deficiency is so common that often patients with hypothyroidism are also vitamin D deficient. All patients, including hypothyroid patients, should be treated for their vitamin D deficiency and prevent vitamin D deficiency by staying on an adequate amount of vitamin D.

When children raised in equatorial areas move to the United States and develop high rates of autism, could this be related to Vitamin D deficiency?

There is little information regarding the cause of autism, and there has been a suggestion that vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of it. However, to date there have not been any clinical trials demonstrating that vitamin D improves autism. However, it is important that everyone, including children with autism, have an adequate amount of vitamin D to maintain their blood level of vitamin D of between 30 and 100 nanograms per milliliter.

Is there any evidence that treating patients with autoimmune disease with vitamin D can lessen their symptoms?

There are no prospective studies that have treated patients with autoimmune diseases with high doses of vitamin D, so we do not know whether such treatment would lessen their symptoms. However, vitamin D deficiency is associated with many nonspecific symptoms, including muscle weakness, muscle aches and pains, bone aches and pains, and joint aches and pains, which can be associated with autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does treating patients with multiple sclerosis with vitamin D improve their overall feeling of well-being and muscle strength, but some of the patients also have had an extended honeymoon from their disease. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are vitamin D deficient also have improvement in muscle function and decreased aches and pains in their bones and joints when the deficiency is treated.

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