People with chronic liver diseases are at increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, say researchers from the University of Tennessee.
In this new study, 118 people with chronic liver diseases - such as cirrhosis and hepatitis C - had their blood levels of vitamin D measured.
Over 90 percent of people with chronic liver disease had some degree of vitamin D deficiency. The severity of vitamin D deficiency was divided into three groups ranging from mild to severe.
At least one third of the study participants were severely deficient in the "sunshine vitamin" - defined as less than 7 nanograms of vitamin D per milliter of blood.
Severe vitamin D deficiency was most common among people with cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver develops scar tissue often associated with alcoholism or hepatitis.
In 1997, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis were responsible for an estimated 2,030 Canadian deaths. According to Statistics Canada, chronic liver disease affects nearly double the number of men versus women.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU (international units) of the vitamin D daily during the fall and winter months.
To determine the dose of vitamin D you need to take, add up how much you're already getting from your multivitamin and calcium supplements.
Choose a vitamin D supplement that contains vitamin D-3 which provides 400 IU vitamin D-3 instead of vitamin D-2 which is less potent.
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