The Benefits of Vitamin D - Nature's Gift of Sunlight!

preventing-osteoporosis



The benefits of vitamin D are essential for wellness and longevity for several reasons. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are all around us, and so we need to understand what the sources of vitamin D are and how we can get enough for meeting our daily needs and for preventing osteoporosis.






What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble hormone group comprised of

  • ergocalciferol – D2
  • cholecalciferol – D3
  • calcidiol – 25D

Vitamin D

  • regulates calcium and phosphorous levels
  • regulates bone formation
  • helps regulate the immune system
  • inhibits secretion of parathyroid hormone


Vitamin D deficiency symptoms

Deficiency of this vitamin can result from inadequate sunlight, intake through meals, and due to problems with absorption and assimilation.

Indications of a deficiency are

  • profuse sweating
  • irritability and restlessness
  • bone deformities
  • poorly developed muscles

In light of its crucial role the benefits of vitamin D become obvious. Acute deficiencies are somewhat rare because some of the sources of vitamin D are in our food supply (commercial milk) which is fortified with vitamin D, however more subtle levels of deficiency remain and are not as obvious.


Deficiencies of this vitamin have been linked to

  • increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • depression
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • increased risk of cancer
  • increased risk of infection
  • increased risk of multiple sclerosis


Doctors are finding more conditions that may be linked with inadequate intake of this important substance and so getting adequate levels is a must!

This is especially true for people of African descent who live in temperate or colder climates where they get minimal sun exposure throughout the long winter.

Darkly pigmented skin tends to filter out the sun’s ultraviolet light, which the body needs to synthesize this important vitamin.

It is no coincidence that that health problems which seem to disproportionately affect people of African descent are related to vitamin D deficiency symptoms!

Sources of vitamin D

There are three sources of vitamin D

The benefits of vitamin D are as easy to achieve as making sure you get adequate sun exposure in both winter and summer, taking the appropriate nutritional supplements, and eating foods which have been fortified with vitamin D.

What is enough sunlight? Well, it depends on how dark your skin is and where you live. There are no concrete formulas to determine how much you need, but it is safe to say that everyone should strive to get as much sunlight as they can during winter months.

In the summer months getting outdoors for an hour or so during the day will likely give you enough exposure to synthesize what you need on a daily basis. This amount is of course being supplemented by other sources of vitamin D such as fortified foods and vitamin d supplements.

This should be adequate to prevent vitamin D deficiency symptoms, but the best way to determine your levels is with the appropriate tests. A physician or antiaging practitioner can interpret the tests and help you take steps to correct any deficiency.

Because of the mounting evidence of the critical role this vitamin plays in your health, make it a point to get your levels checked and take steps to start receiving the many health benefits of vitamin D.



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