Term Paper: Vitamin D Deficiency

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Vitamin D Deficiency:

Annotated Bibliography

Binkley, Nathan., et al. (June 2007). "Low Vitamin D Status Despite Abundant Sun Exposure." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism. Vol. 92 no. 6: 2130-35.

Nathan Binkley, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin Osteoporosis Research Program, maintains that the "lack of sun exposure is widely accepted as the primary cause" of vitamin D deficiency in the United States as well as worldwide. But according to current research in this area of study, a number of individuals "with seemingly adequate UV exposure" have been shown to have low levels vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) (2130).

Thus, the overall aim of this article is to demonstrate "the status of healthy individuals with habitually high sun exposure," especially those living in the state of Hawaii which receives high levels of UV rays on a daily basis and depending on the person, the levels of vitamin D created via UV exposure varied greatly (2133).

Binkley's overall conclusion shows that "responsiveness to UV radiation is evident" among a good number of test subjects, yet some show a "low vitamin D status" which might be used by physicians when prescribing vitamin D supplements to raise deficiencies in the general American population.

Bodnar, L.M., et al. (November 2007). "Pre-Pregnancy Obesity Predicts Poor Vitamin D Status in Mothers and Their Neonates." Journal of Nutrition. Vol. 137 no. 11: 2437-42.

In this comprehensive article, L.M. Bodnar of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, examines the risk factors for vitamin D deficiency associated with obesity in American women, particularly those who are pregnant. Bodnar's overall objective in this article is to "assess the effect of pre-pregnancy body mass index on maternal and newborns" before and after being given a concentration of vitamin D (2437).

One of his findings was that vitamin D deficiencies exist more in babies born to obese mothers than those born to lean and healthy mothers, at least according to the body mass index or BMI which recently has been shown to be somewhat inaccurate and deceptive. An increase in BMI during pregnancy also affected vitamin D deficiencies, meaning that pregnant women with less than 20 BMI passed on more vitamin D to their babies than mothers with a BMI higher than 25, dependent of course on the mother's height relative to her overall weight (2438).

Thus, as Bodnar concludes, "the rise in maternal obesity highlights that maternal and newborn vitamin D deficiency will continue to be a serious public health problem" for American women unless proper steps are taken to treat such deficiencies, such as providing vitamin D supplements while pregnant and just before giving birth (2442).

Cannell, J.J. (October 24, 2007). "Autism and Vitamin D" Medical Hypotheses.

Vol. 3 no. 3: 345-56.

J.J. Cannell, a psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital in El Camino Real, California, explores in this article how vitamin D levels have been lowered in those Americans with autism as a result of being told by physicians to avoid sunlight, a situation which has also lead to the loss of certain proteins "involved in brain development... enlarged ventricles" and other abnormalities similar to those found in autistic children (345).

Cannel also adds that women who consume fish high in vitamin D during pregnancy greatly helps to reduce autistic symptoms. He also links the presence of autism to those American children who live in areas of "impaired UV penetration," such as in "urban areas with high air pollution and high precipitation," thus making it clear that sunlight greatly affects vitamin D levels and helps to eliminate deficiencies (348).

Cannel concludes that early childhood vitamin D deficiency "may explain both the genetics and epidemiology of autism" and that parents of children with autism should ignore the advice of their physicians to avoid sunlight. He then suggests that studies are required in the United States to test this as-yet unproven theory (355).

Holick, Michael F. (July 19, 2007). "Vitamin D Deficiency." New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 357 no. 3: 266-81.

In this highly-detailed article, Dr. Michael Holick of the Department of Medicine at Boston University Medical Center, centers his thesis on the connections between vitamin D deficiencies in American diets and rickets, a condition caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium and usually phosphorus and seen primarily in infancy and childhood.

Although the disease of rickets has "appeared to be conquered, many health professionals thought the major health problems resulting from vitamin D deficiency had been resolved," yet rickets continues to be a rather common illness in American children and even some adults (266). Rickets can also cause growth retardation and skeletal deformities and may "increase the risk of hip fracture later in life" (267).

Along with a clear and concise study of vitamin D deficiency, Dr. Holick also explores the sources and metabolism of vitamin D deficiency, its prevalence in American society and its links with other serious physical illnesses, such as lung function and depression, and how vitamin D can also become an intoxicant when taken in large doses beyond what is normally prescribed.

Optimal Vitamin D Status for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis."

2007). Drugs and Aging. Vol. 24 no. 12: 1017-29.

Much like the above article, Dr. Holick explores a number of positive traits linked to having sufficient vitamin D in one's diet which most Americans do not have. He points out that vitamin D "is essential for maximizing bone health" and "enhances intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus;" thus, a vitamin D deficiency can result in osteoporosis and various type of digestive problems, particularly in young children and older adults (1018).

Holick also discusses at length how vitamin D deficiency can be virtually eliminated by exposure to sunlight. "Seasons, latitudes, skin pigmentation, sunscreen use, clothing and aging can dramatically influence" the synthesis of vitamin D in the human skin (1019). Although in the United States most people do obtain sufficient vitamin D from sunlight, Holick points out that "vitamin D deficiency is pandemic," meaning that it occurs in high numbers not only in the United States but also in many foreign nations (1019).

Holick concludes by informing us that in elderly Americans, vitamin D deficiency can cause "muscle weakness, (thus) increasing the risk of falls and fractures" and should be "aggressively treated with pharmacological doses" of vitamin D, especially those suffering from osteoporosis (1019).

Litonjua, a.A., et al. (November 2007). "Is Vitamin D Deficiency to Blame for the Asthma Epidemic?" Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Vol. 120 no. 5: 1031-35.

In this detailed article, a.A. Litonjua of the Department of Medicine at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, attempts to define the correlation between the prevalence of asthma and the lack of vitamin D With an estimated 20 million persons afflicted with asthma in the United States, Litonjua theorizes that since most Americans spend more time indoors rather than outdoors which lowers their exposure to sunlight, this leads to "decreased cutaneous vitamin D production" (1032).

Litonjua also details the links which have been found between the immune system and lung development in fetuses due to a lack of vitamin D One study suggests that "higher vitamin D intake by pregnant mothers reduces asthma risks by as much as 40% in children 3 to 5 years old," especially in African-American infants raised in urban settings with high levels of air pollution (1033).

The links between asthma and a lack of vitamin D have also been found in many immigrants to the United States, thus reflecting "epidemiologic patterns observed in the asthma epidemic." As a possible cure this situation, Litonjua suggests that vitamin D should be given to pregnant women of all ages and ethnic groups which "may lead to significant decreases in asthma" in young children (1035).

McCann, J. And B.N. Ames. (December 4, 2007). "Is There Convincing Biological or Behavioral… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Vitamin D Deficiency.  (2007, December 13).  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/vitamin-d-deficiency/75904

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/vitamin-d-deficiency/75904.