Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, plays an important role in your body and keeping you healthy. Unless you live in a tropical locale, getting enough vitamin D can be challenging. Its biggest role is helping your bones grow, but it also plays a role in cell growth, reduction of inflammation, and neuromuscular function. But wait! There’s more! According to recent research, sufficient vitamin D levels have been linked to everything from increased fertility, to a reduced risk of breast cancer to fewer respiratory infections and even reduced severity in diseases like MS.
Many people living in northern climates suffer from low levels of Vitamin D due to the fact that vitamin D is created when you’re exposed to UVB rays. Obese people also are at risk of suffering from deficiencies because vitamin D is fat soluble. Pregnant women are at a high risk as well as babies put increased demands on your body, so you may need to consume more vitamins to ensure you’re getting enough. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia or osteoporosis. Some of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include: General tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well, severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up, as well as stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis and hips.
Benefits of Vitamin D:
Adequate intake of Vitamin D can reduce risks of getting MS, decrease your chance of developing heart disease, and reduce your likelihood of developing the flu. Research has shown that Vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding of depression. Researchers have also found Vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Food sources of D:
Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified, meaning vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:
Salmon, sardines, egg yolk, shrimp, milk (fortified), cereal (fortified), yogurt (fortified), and orange juice(fortified).
However, it can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.