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Vitamin D: What you need to know

Updated on June 30, 2014

Vitamin D roles

Vitamin D has many roles in the human body. Vitamin D has a main role of strengthening the skeletal structure. However, vitamin D also contributes to an array of body functions. These include:

* Maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus

* Helps absorb calcium

* Modulation of cell growth

* Neuromuscular benefits

* Immune function

* Reduces inflammation

* Aids in muscle function

* Helps in maintaining cognitive function

*Offers protection for the cardiovascular system

With Vitamin D playing so many roles in the human body you would think that everyone would make sure they have plenty of vitamin D. It also has been shown to be successful in preventing disease and cancer. According to WebMD.com Vitamin D is helpful in preventing type 1 and 2 diabetes, Hypertension, glucose intolerance and even Multiple Sclerosis. Vitamin D prevents a host of health problems. It has even been shown to reduce the risk breast cancer.


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Sources of Vitamin D

When we think of vitamin D, we often times think of the sun. The sun is an excellent creator of vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from animal food sources, including fish, fish liver oils and egg yolks. Vitamin D can also be taken as a supplement. It is recommended that you obtain vitamin D through a natural source. Such as, Foods and sunlight. It is also recommended that one expose themselves, 40% of their bodies, to sun shine 15 minutes a day. To maintain vitamin D levels. During the winter months this is harder to achieve, being that the winter months can provide extremely cold temperatures and it is harder to absorb vitamin D through sunlight in these months. That is when one must eat plenty of vitamin D rich foods and possibly supplement with either, a multivitamin or simply a vitamin D pill. Vitamin D is so vital to the proper function of our body's, so it is imperative that one receive enough vitamin D in whichever way they can.

How would you rate your level of vitamin D ?

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Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a host of problems and disease. It is often times said that, during the winter months, one is more likely to develop a cancer. More and more research is linking this to the lack of vitamin D, from being indoors, resulting in a deficiency. There are several risk factors for not having the proper amounts of vitamin D. According to WebMD, Some of them are, Increased risk of death from a cardiovascular disease, Cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children and as we have said earlier, an increased risk of cancer. There are several reasons someone may be deficient in this wonderful vitamin. Here are a few, if you are strictly vegan, you don't consume the recommended levels of vitamin D, overtime due to the lack of vitamin D in plant products. Exposure to sunlight is limited, your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight. You have dark skin, the pigment melanin reduces the skins ability to make it, your kidney's can not convert vitamin D to a useable form. Your digestive tract can not adequately absorb the vitamin. Obesity, it is shown that if you have a BMI that is 30 or above the body can not use the vitamin D efficiently. These all result in a higher risk of being deficient. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, pain, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and also breast cancer. Maintaining optimum vitamin D levels, in the body, has been found to slash your risk of breast cancer by, up to 90 percent. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to function at an optimum level don't skimp on your vitamin D.

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Vitamin D

* can increase your immunity

* prevent cancers

* ward off disease

* prevent osteoporosis

* increase absorption if calcium

Interesting facts

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola often time experts 'put down" the very thing that could tremendously reduce our risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancer. Exposure to the sun, you are 80 times more likely to have these issues if you fall to the advice that is so readily down graded by the ones you trust the most. Did you know that it has been proven, Multiple Sclerosis risk are affected by the birth mom's vitamin D levels, in the month they give birth ? A pregnant woman can increase the risk of Multiple Sclerosis, for her child, if she fails to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D while she is pregnant, especially in the later months, before giving birth. Vitamin D has also been shown to help prevent colds, it can also reduce the duration if levels are maintained during a cold. The recommended dose for the average person is 1000 IU a day. You may need more if you are, olive or darkened skin color, if you work indoors, as you age, over weight, and you do not exercise. You can reach this level, naturally, by spending at least 15 minutes outside in the sunshine daily , with as much exposed skin, as you are comfortable with. It is recommended that you spend as much time, outdoors, prior to surgery, for it will improve your "down time" , by increasing your ability to heal. Vitamin D is one vitamin you do not want to be lacking in. Make sure you are doing your best to stay optimum.

Vitamin D at a glance

Vitamin D is very useful and beneficial to your body. You should try daily to see that you have all you need. It helps everything from bone strength to fighting off cancer. Vitamin D is readily available from the sun and certain food sources. Sun exposure is constantly criticized with the risk of skin cancers, however, if you heed the warning, chances are you will do more harm than good. Vitamin D will help heal , rather than harm. Sun exposure is an essential need for the human body. If you must supplement, in pill form, it is important that you supplement with high quality vitamins. Talk to your doctor for their recommended dosing for your body. Vitamin D plays a role in almost every body function. If your body is lacking in any vitamin, chances are you will have issues that can not be explained. A multivitamin and mineral a day, is recommended for most people. There are several different brands, be sure when purchasing vitamins, you choose the best one for your personal needs.

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Vitamin D : putting it all together

Your body has several vitamins, nutrients and minerals it requires on a regular basis. It is important,to your health, to provide the essential needs of this miracle body. Your body can do so much when fed the proper necessities. From preventing a virus, to fighting chronic disease. Your body, when given the proper nutrition can work wonders. Do not fall to disease and destruction for a lack of vitamin intake. There are several studies that have shown the effects of essential vitamins and it's relationship to good health and longevity. It is not that hard to maintain a healthy diet along with vitamins our body's desperately need. It is a lifestyle change, that starts, one step at a time. Here's to good health.

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    • littlething profile image

      Jackie S 

      4 years ago

      Wow. I did not realize exactly how important vitamin D was. Great information!

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 

      4 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Great information on vitamin D. Yes it is one of the most important nutrients to make sure you are getting enough of.

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