Found in dairy products and seafood, vitamin D can also be synthesized in the body from direct sunlight. Although vitamin D is associated with bone health, this vital nutrient provides other health benefits for men, including preventing muscle loss and boosting mood.
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Vitamin D might play a crucial role in preventing one of America’s epidemics--obesity. In a 2004 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,” researchers investigated the relationship between obesity and vitamin D levels. They discovered that overweight and obese subjects had significantly lower vitamin D levels compared with non-obese subjects. Further research is needed about the relationship between obesity and vitamin D levels.
The elderly have a greater incidence of falls, and falls can lead to bone fractures, which are mainly attributed to muscle weakness, according to research reported in the May 2004 issue of the “Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.” Research indicates that sufficient vitamin D levels reduce the number of falls in elderly subjects. Scientists suggest vitamin D improves muscle strength and control of balance, which helps prevent falls and fractures commonly seen in the elderly.
Adequate vitamin D levels can lower the risk of losing muscle mass and strength normally associated with aging. According to a study published in the December 2003 issue of the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,” researchers found that lower levels of vitamin D increased the risk of sarcopenia, or muscle loss, in men.
Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in the winter months because of less sun exposure, according to researchers at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Scientists suggest that vitamin D supplementation is effective for boosting mood and reducing depression, especially during winter months.
Researchers discovered a link between vitamin D levels and colorectal cancer survival, according to the Nutra-Ingredients website. Colorectal cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels were twice as likely to survive compared with patients who had lower vitamin D levels.