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Vitamin D supplements improve health in the young and the old

Published on 20/01/2012

Private medical insurance customers might be interested to hear that vitamin D has been proven by scientists to prevent depression in children, and declining eyesight in the elderly.

A research project, run by the University of Bristol, shows that children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer from depression.

Oily fish like mackerel are a source of vitamin D

The study looked at vitamin D levels in more than 2,700 children when they were aged nine and 13. Those with higher levels of vitamin D3 had a ten per cent lower risk of developing depression, and were more likely to show a decline in depressive symptoms in their teenage years.

British researchers have also found that vitamin D supplements are a potential way to combat age-related eye diseases.

Professor Glen Jeffrey of UCL’s Institute of Opthalmology explained that tiny blood vessels that supply the retinas become clogged with debris over time and inflamed.

This leads to a decline of up to 30 per cent in the numbers of light reflective cells in the eye by the age of 70.

But when one year old mice were given vitamin D supplements, the deposits of a toxic molecule called amyloid beta were reduced, and their vision improved in as little as 6 weeks.

Although the vitamin is present in some foods like oily fish and egg yolk, 90 per cent is manufactured by the skin with the help of strong sunlight. Many people do not get enough sunlight to make enough vitamin D.

However, much more work is needed before people started taking the supplements to help with failing vision or depression. Anyone thinking of taking vitamin supplements should always consult their doctor first.

Compare health insurance quotes online now to see if you could be covered on your policy for treatment of depression or eye disease.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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