Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, has proven to partake a great role in one’s health. Popularly acquired through taking in enough sun or drinking enough milk, vitamin D is more than for healthy bones. It was found to conserve muscle strength and can be protection for certain diseases.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D dissolves in and is stored in fat. Sources of vitamin D include sardines, salmon, fortified foods like milk, breakfast cereals, and vitamin supplements. It is also created in the skin when exposed to sun. It affects various processes including the regulation of calcium.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps in the regulation of cell growth, immunity and energy metabolism
Vitamin D prevents leg / muscle weakness. Leg weakness is a symptom for vitamin D deficiency. Researches showed that persons who have high concentrations of vitamin D tend to have decreased susceptibility for muscle weakness.
Vitamin D decreases the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Studies found that the incidence of MS was lower in places near the equator thus abundant vitamin D.
For healthy bones! Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from the food. Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, both described as softening of the bone is associated with Vitamin D deficiency.
Beyond bone protection, vitamin D has also been found to have promising effects to guard against diseases such as colon, breast and colon cancer.
It was found that children who had vitamin D supplementation were less susceptible to developing type 1 diabetes.
How much Vitamin D should you take?
The recommended amount of international units of vitamin D per day is between 200 to 600 IU, for children and adults up to age 50, 200 IU, up to 400 IU for adults aged 51-70 and 600 IU for adults over 70. However, most people do not even reach that range.
During summer, this amount is easily attained because the body can create 12,000 IU from just thirty minutes of sun exposure. Then again, it is hard to reach this recommended amount during winter times because people just acquire vitamin D from food. In addition, those who live further from the equator find it difficult to get enough vitamin D.
With the exceptions of people with the history of skin cancer or conditions related to sun exposure, moderate UVB exposure is a part of achieving the right amount of vitamin D in the blood.
It is worth mentioning that UV light is carcinogenic. Thus, protection from the sun is always necessary.
There is no need for prolonged sun exposure to stimulate abundant vitamin D production. Vitamin D experts say that for a mere 10 minutes of sun exposure a couple of times a week would produce thousands of units of Vitamin D.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Many dietary supplements are available in the market. Vitamin D is one of them. Although vitamin deficiency can be a concern, remember that too much of something is not also recommended.
The best advice would always come from your doctor. Consult your doctor and ask for recommendations on which brands to buy, if you choose dietary supplements, what other supplements he can recommend, and perhaps a meal plan that could maximize your vitamin intake.
Remember that the proper nutrition, right amount of exercise and enough rest is more important than dietary supplements.
Joyce Dietzel writes articles for-your-vitamins.com a website dedicated to vitamins -supplements -herbs- minerals [http://www.for-your-vitamins.com]