MIPC Medical Minute by Dr. Michael Horan / Vitamin D Deficiency

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.27.58 AMYou may have been hearing a lot about Vitamin D deficiency recently: low Vitamin D has been associated with diminished intestinal absorption of calcium, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis or brittle bones; low Vitamin D has been associated with in an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases; and now the latest, low Vitamin D appears to be related to an increased future incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So what should you do? You should not go out and load up on Vitamin D supplements because too much Vitamin D is toxic, leading to a syndrome called hypervitaminosis D.

Instead, the next time you see your physician, ask him or her to order a Vitamin D level on you. If your result is within normal limits, you will be just fine. If you have low Vitamin D, your physician will recommend either eating more foods rich in Vitamin D; getting more sunshine; or taking a Vitamin D-3 supplement and after a period of time, remeasuring your Vitamin D level. For more information about Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease visit the Johns Hopkins Heart & Vascular page and for more information about the link between Vitamin D deficiency and Alzheimer’s Disease see the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology study.