Vitamin D is a lesser known, but albeit vital, component of a healthy lifestyle. When you get enough of vitamin D’s benefits, you will have healthy bones. Vitamin D is part of regulating mineral levels in the body, phosphorus and calcium. It plays a very important role in healthy bone structure.
It’s found in two forms: D2 and D3….D3 is the higher recommended of the two, because of its similarity to the vitamin D created by your own body when you get ample amounts of sunlight. The amount of sunlight an individual needs to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits depends on the fairness or darkness of the skin. Dark-colored skins produce vitamin D more slowly than fair-skinned people. As little as 15 minutes per day is sufficient for a light-skinned person, but a darker-complexioned person may need 2 hours or more.
It’s not necessary to burn or even tan to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits. The more skin is exposed to the sunlight, the sooner that healthy amounts of vitamin D are produced within your body. In cloudier climates, in the winter, and in certain parts of the world where sunlight is scarce during certain parts of the year, supplements are recommended. For people who work indoors all week, a supplement is advised. Then get plenty of natural sunlight on Saturday and Sunday.
The occurrence of vitamin D deficiency is very high in older adults. This may be due to staying indoors more and not getting outside enough. For these folks, taking a vitamin D supplement is definitely prescribed for them to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits (www.webmd.com). They, especially, need all the help that vitamin D gives to metabolize and utilize calcium to have healthy, strong bones.
Recommended supplemental dosages vary from different organizations in the United States, from 800 IU to 5,000 IU per day (www.vitamindcouncil.org). Vitamin D is not water-soluble, meaning that it’s not expelled from the body easily like other vitamins. However, it’s not easy to take too much vitamin D to the point of being harmful.
The vitamin D produced naturally in the body by getting sun exposure on the other hand, is water-soluble and leaves the body quickly. It’s difficult to get vitamin D from foods, as there are few foods with vitamin D in them. Milk and orange juice can be found fortified with vitamin D. Fish, beef liver and egg yolks naturally contain vitamin D.
Research clearly demonstrates that vitamin D is crucial for good health. Get enough of vitamin D’s benefits by getting adequate sunshine, and take supplements in winter months or when working indoors. Scientists say that there are more than 3,000 genes that are affected by vitamin D levels and have identified vitamin D receptors throughout the entire body.
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