When it comes to vitamin supplements, vitamin A, C, E are currently all the rage. However, did you know that the health benefits of vitamin D are equally important? Derived naturally from the sun, the powerful vitamin does more than strengthen bones and teeth.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D does far more than keep bones strong. This water soluble vitamin offers a slew of other health benefits, some of which you may find surprising.
Builds Healthy Bones
Above all else, we need vitamin D to keep our bones strong. Without it, you run the risk of developing brittle bones, especially as you get older.
Women are also at higher risk for developing osteoporosis during and after menopause. Taking fat-soluble vitamins can help reduce the overall risk.
For this reason, it’s important to get your daily dose. Keep in mind you don’t always need to consume vitamin D orally. While enjoying a delicious glass of fortified OJ can do the trick, sometimes just an afternoon of sun exposure is just what the doctor ordered.
Just remember to apply sunscreen prior to going outside.
A healthy dose of vitamin D also boosts immunity. Although your body produces vitamin D, it may not be enough to ward off common colds and viruses. Boosting your values may keep you healthier, even during the flu season.
Reduce Risk of MS
When vitamin D levels are optimized, it might also reduce your risk of developing multiple sclerosis. People already diagnosed with MS may see a reduction in symptoms with proper supplementation.
Ward off Depression
In addition to providing immune-boosting benefit, vitamin D can also help regulate mood swings, which often result in depression.
Studies show that people suffering from depression and received vitamin D did identify an improvement in the severity of symptoms.
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
Promote Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight and lower blood pressure, taking fat soluble vitamins may aid in your efforts. Research shows that people who took a daily supplement did see a reduction in their appetite.
Note, that taking vitamin D can also lower the risk of heart disease, regardless of body habitus. Its heart-protective properties are even more important for those who are overweight or have higher levels of bad cholesterol.
Source of Vitamin D
Aside from sunshine and orange juice, there’s a wide array of food that provides appropriate doses of this fat soluble vitamin.
Some of the most delicious common foods include:
- Fortified cereal
- Low-fat yogurt
- Egg yolks
Signs of Vitamin Defiency
Although your body does produce vitamin D via exposure to the sun, being vitamin D deficient isn’t as uncommon as you might think. In fact, there are many external factors that cause this to occur.
For instance, if you live in a highly polluted area or are intolerant of dairy, you may need supplementation.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
Everyone has different nutritional needs, so it’s important to take the correct dosage. As a rule of thumb, children need around 600 IU whereas adults may need up to 4000 IU.
Note, signs that you’re vitamin D overloaded include darker skin, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and a low blood level. As with any type of vitamin, consult with your doctor prior to starting supplementation. The amount of vitamins is different depending on age and any pre-existing medical conditions.
The health benefits of vitamin D far surpasses the risk of taking supplements. The key is checking with your doctor prior to taking any type of vitamin or minerals. If you think you may have vitamin D deficiency a simple blood test can rule it out.
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