Smorgasbord Health Column – Vitamin D deficiency links to Cancer, Hormone Balance, SAD, autism and IBS

One of the nutrients that has been receiving increasingly compelling research headlines, is Vitamin D. Regulars to the blog will know that I have written several posts on this vitamin that thinks it is a hormone..

A quick reminder of the reasons that Vitamin D is so essential for our health before a look at some of the research into the link between Vitamin D and autism.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in some food sources. We are also designed to make the vitamin in our body after exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. When it is manufactured in the body it takes on a number of different forms, each of which have a different function to perform.

The main function is to maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood and then to ensure that calcium is absorbed efficiently so that new bone is formed and maintained throughout our lifetime.

This link to calcium resulted in the first major nutritional breakthrough nearly 100 years ago when it was identified that children with rickets, usually from poor and industrial areas suffered from Vitamin D deficiency and were supplemented with fish liver oils resulting in a virtual eradication of the disease.

How the balance of Calcium in the body is linked to cancer

Calcium plays a crucial role in other functions in the body but one of the most important as far as cancer is concerned, is its ability to maintain the acid/alkaline balance within all our operating systems. With adequate calcium in our blood it produces an alkaline environment.

Cancer thrives in an acidic environment and cancerous cells also produce lactic acid with drives the normal pH balance within the body down even further. In addition, in an effort to maintain alkalinity in the blood, acid is dumped into the normal cells and they become toxic. Their oxygen levels decrease which would normally signal their death, and whilst some will die and add to the already increased acidity in the body, some, in an effort to survive will adapt and become abnormal cells… cancer.  A fascinating book by Keiichi  Morishita put forward that theory in 1976.

This creates a perfect storm resulting in increased cancer cells in the body. Vitamin D also works to promote healthy cell growth and actively prevent the formation of abnormal growth which strengthens the link between not only breast cancer and a deficiency but other cancers as well. Incidences of breast, prostate and colon cancer in the cloudier, Northern parts of the United States are two to three times higher than in Sunnier states. A link has been established to a deficiency of Vitamin D with all these types of cancer.

You can help the body achieve a healthy acid/alkaline diet by maximising certain foods and reducing other that create an acidic environment.. such as sugar. You can find a whole chapter on the way to rebalance the pH in your body in this chapter from my book Turning Back the Clock.

Vitamin D maintaining a healthy balance of calcium is also important for hormones.

There is also a strong link between magnesium and calcium in the role of balancing hormones and are used very successfully in the treatment of PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Oestrogen the female hormone has been identified as the fuel that breast cancer cells prefer and this is why during the menopause when levels are likely to be elevated, we are more likely to develop tumours. This can therefore be linked back to a deficiency in Calcium and by definition a lack of vitamin D which enables the mineral to be absorbed and used by the body.

Vitamin D also works to promote healthy cell growth and actively prevent the formation of abnormal growth which strengthens the link between not only breast cancer and a deficiency but other cancers as well. Incidences of breast, prostate and colon cancer in the cloudier, Northern parts of the United States are two to three times higher than in Sunnier states. A link has been established to a deficiency of Vitamin D with all these types of cancer.

Apart from working with other nutrients to provide a healthy balance, Vitamin D is also associated with a number of other chronic diseases including Osteoporosis (calcium) Diabetes, Heart disease, arthritis (immune system) Multiple sclerosis (autoimmune system) Obesity ( lowers the levels of leptin hormone produced by the fat cells which regulates weight) , PMS and infertility, chronic fatigue and depression.

Vitamin D and Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD

Many people in countries with long wet and dark winters suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Vitamin D which has been activated in the adrenal gland regulates an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and epinephrine. Not only do they regulate how we feel but also are linked to some interesting parallel conditions associated with a lack in Vitamin D namely obesity, PMS and menopausal symptoms such as migraines, and chronic pain associated with arthritis etc.

The latest research into the connection between Vitamin D and Autism.

Posted in Science Daily with materials supplied by the University of Queensland:

Giving vitamin D supplements to mice during pregnancy prevents autism traits in their offspring, University of Queensland researchers have discovered.

The discovery provides further evidence of the crucial role vitamin D plays in brain development, said lead researcher Professor Darryl Eyles, from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute.

“Our study used the most widely accepted developmental model of autism in which affected mice behave abnormally and show deficits in social interaction, basic learning and stereotyped behaviours,” Professor Eyles said.

“We found that pregnant females treated with active vitamin D in the equivalent of the first trimester of pregnancy produced offspring that did not develop these deficits.”

In human studies, QBI researchers recently found a link between pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels and the increased likelihood of having a child with autistic traits.

Read the rest of the report:

The link between Vitamin D deficiency and IBS

This research was featured  in Science News.

Vitamin D supplements could help to ease painful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found.

Scientists from the University’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism reviewed and integrated all available research on vitamin D and IBS — a condition which affects two in 10 people in the UK.

The study showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in IBS patients — regardless of their ethnicity.

The Sheffield team also assessed the possible benefits of vitamin D supplements on IBS symptoms. Whilst they believe more research still needs to be conducted, their findings suggested supplements may help to ease symptoms which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Vitamin D was shown to have the most benefit on quality of life in IBS.

Read the rest of the article: Science Daily Vitamin D

There are several post on Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the Health Column Directory:

©Sally Cronin Just food for health 1998 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from

And Amazon UK:

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4:

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

30 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Vitamin D deficiency links to Cancer, Hormone Balance, SAD, autism and IBS

  1. Crumbs, that gives me something to think about – again! My Vitamin D levels are low, have been for a while, ( I take a supplement now) but one of my sons has been diagnosed with autism, and in all likelihood his brother probably is too.

    Low Vit D is also associated with connective tissue / autoimmune disease – as I am now learning. Super article as always Sally x

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a good point, I haven’t had my levels checked since taking the supplements – maybe I should. I’m waiting to find out if I have Lupus- so I need to be careful with sunshine which will be hard to bear – I love being outdoors

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have a feeling you have referred to the spray – it sounds familiar. Thanks Sally, I will look into that,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Another excellent article Sally. I heard somewhere: with regards to SAD that in the northern Hemisphere in the depths of winter when the sun is low, even on the bright days we cannot manufacture Vitamin D. I think it was because the sun needs to be a certain height above the horizon. Do you know if this is true? Pxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating info here Sal for people to learn the importance of Vitamin D and how it works in the body. It’s so essential to stay on the alkaline side – something I often struggle with so I know what to take. And don’t get us started on SAD LOL 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Sally. You’re a mine of information. We are lucky in that we live in Spain, but as we are now a lot older, and my husband has bad circulation in his legs (although he smoked very little many years ago and is a very moderate drinker), he was advised to take more magnesium. Have you anything more to add to that? Many thanks. Hugs. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Sally, Did this post ever hit home. I’m a two-time survivor of cancer. One of the several symptoms was my deficiency of Vitamin D. My doctor still keeps me on Vitamin D supplements and checks my levels regularly. HUGS


  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Josh Groban, Getting to Know Carol Taylor and Barbara Villiers unveiled. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health Column – Nutrient in the News – Vitamin D could reduce number of #migraine attacks! | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.