Benefits of vitamin D

All vitamins are important for our bodies, but just how important is vitamin D? Vitamin D is essential in helping our bodies absorb calcium. Without vitamin D we could develop numerous health problems. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing many maladies that a lot of people may not even be aware of.

Recent studies have shown that nearly 40-50% of grown women are lacking in vitamin D. That is very alarming since there is a great possibility of developing osteoporosis during the menopausal years. Not only is there a greater chance of osteoporosis but vitamin D deficiency can contribute to breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, weight gain, heart disease, and depression. It seems that overall people sufficient in vitamin D stand a lower chance in acquiring some of these diseases. Of course this is not to say that being sufficient in vitamin D will prevent everyone from getting any of these diseases, but studies have shown that it does lessen the possibility and in the event that a disease was diagnosed, being sufficient in vitamin D can help keep the disease from progressing as quickly and it can also aid in the healing process.

Aside from these great benefits, it is true that vitamin D prevents bone loss in our body. Without the proper amount of this important vitamin, our bones will not develop properly. This is extremely important when talking about babies and children. It is absolutely crucial that our little ones get the right amount of vitamin D to avoid getting Rickets, or soft bones in children. Also to avoid having fragile bones into adulthood, it is important to have enough vitamin D as well. Along with helping the bones develop, vitamin D also plays a role in strengthening the immune and neuromuscular systems.

So how can you get your vitamin D? Well, every time you are in the sunlight you are helping your body to produce its own vitamin D. For people that live in the northern climates this may become difficult since the sun may not be out as often or the temperatures become too cold to get outdoors enough. Another contributing factor is your skin color. If you are light skinned then you stand a much greater chance of producing more vitamin D since light skin soaks up more sun than dark skin.

Other ways of getting vitamin D is through your food. Certain fish such as, Salmon, Mackerel or Tuna have vitamin D as well as Cod Liver Oil. Also milk, cheese and egg yolks contain vitamin D. You can also find this vitamin fortified in other foods like yogurts, juices, margarines and cereals.

Sometimes it may be recommended that you take a vitamin D supplement if you are not able to eat these foods due to a dietary restriction or if you are unable to get enough sunlight. If you feel that you may need more vitamin D in your diet then you should discuss this with your doctor. It is not advisable to start on any supplements without first talking it over with a medical professional because vitamin D can interact or interfere with other medications. Also, there are a couple different types of vitamin D that you can take and it’s important to know about each one and what the benefits are of each as well.

Taking supplements can offer many benefits, but it’s very important to know how much to take for you and your needs. Not everyone’s requirements will be the same. There can be some side effects from consuming too much vitamin D through supplements, including nausea, kidney stones, constipation, abnormal heart rhythm and confusion. These side effects are extremely rare when getting your vitamin D through diet and sunlight, but adding in a high dosage in supplemental form can cause an overdose. Please discuss these risks with your doctor.

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Last updated on May 31st, 2010 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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