Are you suspicious of snake oil claims that something will treat a whole lot of health problems? I sure am.
The newest entry on the snake oil scene would seem to be vitamin D. I’ve lost track of all that this vitamin is supposedly good for — everything from building strong bones to protecting us from strokes and heart failure to reducing our risk of cancer and on to helping us regulate our immune system and control inflammation, our blood pressure, and even our blood glucose. Recently, some people are even recommending it for respiratory problems ranging from the common cold to the H1N1 (swine) flu virus.
If even half of this is true, vitamin D must be the biggest health discovery since aspirin. But so far we have only a few generally accepted uses of vitamin D.
We’ve known since the early 1920s that vitamin D cures rickets and other diseases that soften our bones, including osteomalacia and osteoporosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1994 approved a vitamin D preparation to treat psoriasis. [Read more →]