Currently, in medical circles, vitamin D is the talk of the town.
Produced in our skin on contact with sunlight, it plays a myriad of roles in the human body.
In the past few months, Medical News Today have covered a wealth of research into the group of fat-soluble secosteroids more commonly known as vitamin D.
For instance, recent studies have found that vitamin D might protect against heart failure, diabetes, and cancer, and that vitamin D deficiency causes hair loss.
Vitamin D deficiency has traditionally been linked to bone health, but it may also have a role to play in respiratory tract infections and autoimmune disease, among others.
With more than 40 percent of the population of the United States being vitamin D deficient, this is a serious issue. Some authors have referred to it as “an ignored epidemic,” estimating that over 1 billion people worldwide have inadequate levels.
Understanding vitamin D deficiency
As vitamin D’s importance becomes ever clearer, researchers are dedicating more and more time to understanding who might be most at risk of deficiency and working out ways to prevent it.
Because the vitamin appears to play a part in so many conditions, addressing the deficiency issue could have a considerable impact on the population at large.
One group of researchers investigating this topic hails from the VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center, both in the Netherlands. Led by Rachida Rafiq, they recently presented their findings at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, held in Barcelona, Spain.