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New study suggests vitamin D deficiency linked to increased stroke risk

Posted on: February 3, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


On February 2nd, researchers at the University of Alabama announced that sunlight is inversely associated with stroke: the more sunlight the fewer strokes. The authors also commented on the poor wisdom of avoiding all sunlight; that is, they implied the dermatologists have done us harm.

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3 Responses to New study suggests vitamin D deficiency linked to increased stroke risk

  1. Ian

    My German is not too good so this abstract from Eurekalert will do.

    Contact: Dr. med. Stefan Schilling
    [email protected]
    Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
    Vitamin D deficiency in geriatric patients

    The great majority of geriatric patients in a German rehabilitation hospital were found to have vitamin D deficiency. Stefan Schilling presents his study results in this week’s issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109[3]: 33-8).

    In order to establish the vitamin D status in geriatric patients in Germany, the researchers measured 25-OH vitamin D in 1578 patients in the geriatric rehabilitation hospital in Trier after they had been examined on admission.

    Insufficiently high concentrations were found in 89% of patients, and 67% had severe vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D affects the calcium and bone metabolism, and it is also attributed with numerous other effects. A sufficiently high concentration of vitamin D, and its effects on the muscles, seems to help reduce the risk of falls and thus of fractures.

    Older people seek exposure to the sun less often than young people; the risk of skin cancer is another reason for restricting sun exposure. In contrast to the fluctuations in vitamin D levels between the summer and winter halves of the year that is observed in young people, the old patients in this study (average age 82) did not display any seasonal fluctuations.

    According to the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, daily supplementation with 800 IU of vitamin D is therefore advisable in people older than 70.

  2. Dan

    What about the effect of diet on acid generation causing acidosis? It would seem that Vitamin D and good diet go hand in hand.

  3. Brant Cebulla

    Dan, can you elaborate a little further? What do you mean by “it would seem that vitamin D and good diet go hand in hand”?

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