As scientific research reveals further potential benefits of the “sunshine vitamin,” Global Health Trax, Inc. is reporting brisk sales of its Plant Based Vitamin D3 — the only 100 percent plant-based vitamin D3 product on the North American market.
Recent scientific studies suggest that increased intakes of vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” may be associated with reduced risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and fractures among the elderly, while sufficient levels of vitamin D may support lung functionality in smokers. GHT, an industry leader in nutritional supplements, introduced Plant Based Vitamin D3 in early March thanks to an agreement with ESB Developments Ltd. of Nottingham, England. Plant Based Vitamin D3, available in dropper, spray, and capsule form, is made with Vitashine, the world’s only known source of vitamin D3 manufactured without animal products.
“Scientific evidence is regularly emerging in support of the health benefits of vitamin D for both body and mind,” says Jim Rex, President and CEO of GHT, based in Vista, Calif. “And while our Plant Based Vitamin D3 product is suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets, we’re encouraged to see that the mainstream North American market has also responded favorably — as demonstrated by both the diversity of our direct-to-consumer sales, and the increased interest in private-label opportunities.”
Earlier this month, results of a meta-analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine supported the concept of high doses of vitamin D supplements for the reduction of fractures among the elderly. The meta-analysis used data from 11 randomized clinical trials involving more than 31,000 people. The research team was led by Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of Switzerland’s University of Zurich.
Researchers found subjects who took high doses ofvitamin D — that is, between 800 and 2,000 International Units (IUs) — “significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist, and forearm, in both men and women age 65 and older,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes.
“Our results make a compelling contribution to the existing data on vitamin D and fracture risk in men and women age 65 and older,” added Dr. Bischoff-Ferrari.
Also in July, a new study from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, involving 626 men, reported that maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D in the blood may help support lung function in smokers. “Our most novel and important finding was the interaction between vitamin D deficiency and smoking in the effect on lung function,” researchers wrote in their report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. “These results suggest that vitamin D potentially mitigates the damaging effects of smoking on lung function.”
Earlier this spring, French researchers, writing in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science, linked higher intakes of vitamin D with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The data they collected from 498 women suggested that the highest average intakes of vitamin D were associated with a 77-per-cent decrease in the risk of Alzheimer’s. This data “(allowed) us to conclude that the low consumption of vitamin D precedes the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, (while) eating lots of vitamin D-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” reads the report.
A lack of vitamin D can diminish bone density and weaken the body’s immune system. Vitamin D deficiency in adults may also lead to osteoporosis, common cancers, and autoimmune and infectious diseases, while evidence suggests vitamin D may reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
The two primary forms of vitamin D are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Scientific studies have concluded that vitamin D3 is far more potent and efficient than vitamin D2, but vitamin D3 has traditionally been produced by extracting lanolin from sheep’s wool — a practice that may negatively impact the natural state of the animals, and runs afoul of some consumer ethics. GHT’s Plant Based Vitamin D3 is sourced from an edible form of lichen, and represents a true breakthrough in the nutritional supplement field.
GHT’s Plant Based Vitamin D3 product line includes a 400-IU flavorless spray for adults, and 200-IU fruit-flavored spray for kids, which can be applied on food or directly into the mouth.
Capsules are available in 60-count bottles of 5,000-IU softgels and 60-count bottles of 1,000-IU softgels; both formats provide a full two-month supply of naturally sourced vitamin D3. GHT is also making these products available to customers as a private-label offering through its wholly owned subsidiary, Health Specialties Manufacturing Inc.