Make Everyday a Sunshine Day with Vitamin D
Vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin
Vitamin D has earned the nickname “the sunlight vitamin” because exposure to ultraviolet B rays causes our bodies to begin producing it. In fact, vitamin D is the only nutrient our bodies can make on our own.
Although this may seem like a very simple process, in reality, many of us are still not getting enough vitamin D in our systems. Combine concern about developing skin cancer with the fact that not all of us live in a sunny climate, and most of us are just not getting out into actual sunlight all that often. Add to this the fact that creating our own vitamin D becomes more difficult as we grow older, and it is easy to see how we can be deficient in the nutrient. This is why supplementing with vitamin D is such a good idea.
The importance of D
Vitamin D plays a variety of roles in our bodies, from helping to build strong bones and teeth to boosting the immune system and possibly helping to prevent certain types of cancer.
As you have probably noticed, most milk is fortified with vitamin D. This is because without it, our bodies have a hard time absorbing the calcium found in dairy products. In a study conducted at TuftsUniversity of about 400 men and women over the age of 65, taking 700 IU of vitamin D and 500 mg of calcium every day led to a decrease in bone density loss. As a bonus, the incidence of fractures was cut in half.
Another study of over 3,000 elderly French women found that taking 800 IU of vitamin D and 1,200 mg of calcium every day cut the incidence of hip fractures by an impressive 43 percent in two years. Other recent studies have shown that taking 800 IU a day of vitamin D reduces the chances of both falling and fractures.
As a side note, research conducted in 1994 suggests that older women who get higher levels of vitamin D from either their diets or supplements have a lesser chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Others have found relief from their back pain by taking vitamin D. This is probably due to its ability to help keep bones and cartilage strong.
Vitamin D—cancer preventative?
Several studies have found that vitamin D might be helpful in preventing cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate. One study of over 400 men showed that those with colon cancer had the lowest levels of vitamin D, while healthy men tended to have much higher levels. A 19-year prospective study of almost 2,000 men in the Chicago area concluded that taking vitamin D was linked to a “significant reduction” in the risk of colon cancer. In addition, if you are a healthy postmenopausal woman, taking about 1,000 IU of vitamin D combined with about 1,500 mg of calcium every day has been shown to help reduce your risk of developing any form of cancer by about 60 percent.
It is easy to get enough vitamin D—just add a supplement to your daily routine. With this “sunshine in a bottle” approach, you’ll be sure to get the levels of vitamin D that your body needs for not just adequate health, but possible improved health as well.
Internet source: www.wholehealthmd.com
Various other internet sources