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New Brunswick, NJ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/28/2012 -- A number of studies over the past few years have indicated that almost half the population does not get enough Vitamin D. And, an increasing number of studies show that when many diseases and conditions are present, inadequate amounts of Vitamin D are often also present. However, whether the presence of these diseases causes the lowers levels of Vitamin D, or whether the lower levels of Vitamin D cause the diseases is not known at this point.

Regardless of these important open questions, over the past few years there have been an onslaught of mostly positive news stories and study results published about the potential benefits of Vitamin D, in addition to increased recommendations that people increase supplementation with the vitamin.

The sun is an excellent natural source od Vitamin D, but as we all know there are skin cancer risks associated with unprotected exposure to the sun. And, for those who live in climates where it is not sunny and warm year round, sun exposure is not practical during winter months, when the weather turns cold.

That said, a new study has shown that taking Vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of catching the common cold. Prior studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D are tied to an increased risk of getting a cold, but for the first time a new study has demonstrated that taking vitamin D supplements can actually reduce the risk by as much as 50%. This latest study, by Dr. Carlos A. Camargo, Jr. of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, which studied children in a region of Mongolia, is part of a larger study named the Blue Sky Study.

There have been many other studies published over the past few years discussing the importance of Vitamin D relating to a number of conditions and diseases. Some studies have shown that people with higher levels of Vitamin D have reduced risk of dying from colorectal cancer and reduced risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Other researchers have suggested people take more vitamin D to lower their risk of colon, breast and ovarian cancers. And, there is a link between Vitamin D levels and depression, although a new study indicated that depression causes Vitamin D deficiency, not the other way around. As with much of this, questions remain about causation and correlation.

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