Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vitamin D - the Sunshine Vitamin


Why is vitamin D important? It helps your body to absorb calcium and to keep your bones strong. So you can eat all the calcium you want, but without vitamin D present you won’t receive any of the benefits of it. That’s why you’ll see cow and soy milk fortified with vitamin D. Did you know that most of the industrialized world is vitamin D deficient? It’s because we spend less time outdoors. Especially those living in cold climates like Canadians or northern USA.

Serotonin, the hormone that signals your brain to feel happy, is stimulated by sunlight. You might have heard of SAD or seasonal affective disorder a type of depression that affects people in the winter months due to lack of sunlight. That's why many people in colder climates like Russia have special indoor light therapy lamps to combat that. Vitamin D is a good choice supplement choice to raise your spirits.

Vitamin D activates your immune defenses which improves your immunity and lowers your risk of many diseases.  So without enough vitamin D in your body, your immune system has a difficult time fighting infections such as the cold and flu. Vitamin D is critical to the normal functioning of every organ in the body. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and depression. Gwyneth Paltrow said that she had a severe vitamin D deficiency and as a result her bones were thinning. She was prescribed high dose vitamin D and told to spend more time in the sun.

Vitamin D is in very few foods: salmon, swordfish, and small amounts in eggs and a number of fortified products.  The pill form of Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 (from irradiated mushrooms ) and D3 (from sheep wool). The third source of Vitamin D is the sun.

When you get your annual exam make sure your doctor tests you for a Vitamin D deficiency. It’s a good thing to know, I found out I was a little low. Vitamins are not made equally, I buy Vitamin Code because they have no binders or fillers and is a high quality vitamin. This is not a sponsored post, I just really like the brand!


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